Welcome to the club - Macleans.ca

Welcome to the club


The Conservatives formally initiate Brian Topp with a leaked memo of partisan attacks.

“Topp is a union boss and has deep union ties,” they say in a memo to MPs and party faithful. “How could Brian Topp speak on behalf of all Canadians, when he is so tied to big union special interests…

“Topp is not just the candidate of union bosses but also NDP insiders,” the Tories say, noting that he worked for former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow, former left-wing Toronto mayor David Miller and former NDP leader Audrey McLaughlin.

And if that does make Tories shake in their boots, the party back-roomers add that “Brian Topp is most notable for being NDP Leader’s hand-picked negotiator in the coalition talks with the separatist Bloc Québécois … Brian Topp will do anything – including forming a wreckless [sic] coalition with separatists – in order to gain power.”

Via Twitter, Brian Topp pronounces himself honoured.


Welcome to the club

  1. “BrianTopp: Not a leader”..

    No point in wasting any time, I guess.

    • Are you accusing the Conservatives of recycling?  Don’t be ridiculous.  The meme for Topp is “leader of unions and elites = no leader of Canada”  Completely different thing.  Yes, okay, it does take two previously used messages ‘not a leader’ and ‘elitist’ and combines them together, but don’t you see–this union thing added to the mix took imagination!

  2. Cons can’t help themselves. It’s an involuntary reflex action. Knee-to-the-chin and all that.

  3. “Wreckless coalition”?  Spelled with a “W”?  That’s just sad.

    • Why are you assuming they meant “reckless”?  After all, thanks to the Governor-General’s cooperation with “my way or the highway” Harper, the coalition never had enough momentum to wreck itself.

      But seriously, could this “leaked” memo be part of a grand strategy to get Topp selected as ND leader?  Do the PM’s advisor see him as vulnerable?

      • It’s certainly possible.  Brian Topp is a bright guy, but that’s no guarantee of success in politics.  He may be seen as vulnerable if he lacks charisma and the common touch.  Maybe the PMO guys think he has an Achilles heel, so they’re trying to boost his leadership chances.

        Consider the “confidential” Doug Finley memo from 2006 that was “leaked” to the Star, revealing that the Tories feared Ignatieff much more than Rae: http://dynamitearchives.blogspot.com/2006/11/tory-memo-liberal-leadership.html

        I read “How we almost gave the Tories the boot” back in February, and I remember wondering if Topp would ever transition out of the back room and run for NDP leadership.  Topp comes across as a cunning planner–most recently, he played a key role in orchestrating the Layton hagiography.  I think he has the potential to be a credible opponent to the Conservatives.

  4. To the NDP base saying someone is a union leader isn’t exactly a criticism. Kind of like warning the Reform Alliance base of the Conservatives that their leader goes to church.

    • The American media always reports church attendance by presidents. Not so much here. Does Harper and his family attend church every Sunday? Where?

      • We’re not really sure.  The Cons seem to have a closet fetish. They spend most of their time behind the curtain.

  5. Wasn’t Harper the head of a special interest group, funded by Lord knows who and dedicated to scrapping medicare?  Unions are not my cup of tea, but they sure are legal.

    • Not only was Harper the head of a special interest group, it’s the only serious job he’s ever had other than being a politician.  Stephen Harper’s entire career has been spent as a lobbyist/politician.

      • “Stephen Harper is most notable for leading the charge in the courts to ensure that special interests could continue to spend millions to influence election campaigns. How can Stephen Harper represent Canadians when he’s so tied to rich special interest groups?”

  6. Interesting side note: The “he was all about the coalition” talking point may be dead, as accusing the NDP of working with the party they seemed to have destroyed seems somehow…not so effective anymore.

    • You’re missing the angle where the NDP only killed the Bloc so they could help rebuild it EVEN STRONGER.

      Plans within plans….

  7. New enemy – same old hackneyed cliches. 

  8. I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. Topp’s been hiding in back rooms for far too long, has never been elected to any office, and has probably got a lot of skeletons in his closet. The NDP need to continue siphoning support from the LPC (faster than the CPC) if they want to build on their gains in the last election. I don’t think Topp is the guy to do that.

    • ‘Hiding’?  Come on Rick, that’s  over the top even for you. If Topp’s got any skeletons, I’m sure those guys Harps hides in his backroom will be keen to share them. 

      • He’s been actively involved in Dipper politics since the 80’s, yet he’s never run, not even to “fill a slot”. Which seems suspicious for someone who’s been so actively engaged with one party for so long. Even Warren Kinsella took a shot once upon a time. So yes, I’d say he’s been hiding.

        • How many times have you run?  How long must you be “actively involved in ___ politics” before that becomes a impediment to your run if/when you do decide to do it?

          • I’ve never run. I’ve never been actively involved in politics, and I’d say 20 years would be a good answer to your Fill-in-the-blank.

        • Are you sure you want to insult all the people who work hard to enable politicians to run? 

          • Yes.

          • Thanks for confirming my opinion of you.

  9. Seems like a perfectly accurate description of Mr. Topp – What’s the problem?

    • Cons want Mulclair or Davies to become leader – it would make their lives so much easier.

      • Oh! as a “Con” I would donate to lobby’s campaign

      • Oh! as a “Con” I would donate to libby’s campaign

        • Ah no.  Well maybe, the Cons probably would pay to make sure Libby becomes the leader, 

  10. Which the Globe and Mail happily reprints, and which Wherry cluelessly links to, thus sparing the CPC the cost of actually buying space for their advertisement.

    I realize that letting them pull your strings means you don’t have to work as hard to dance, but really guys, try to at least pretend you know when you’re being played.

  11. “The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to take part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in”