Babel-on-the-Bay: NDP searching for succour

Every once in while, we look in on the New Democratic Party’s sputtering national leadership discussion. It is really more of a crawl than a race. And when you look at the four remaining candidates in the selection process for this fall, you wonder why they are bothering. The basic problem is that none of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Why progressive elites are losing.

The disappointment progressives have felt with the New Democratic Party over the last couple decades has been something we have argued about but maybe not understood as well as we should. Maybe Robin V. Sears of the NDP put his finger on it the other day when complaining in print about the ease with which ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The poster boy and the NDP.

Charlie Angus meet Jagmeet Singh. No doubt Charlie Angus MP, candidate for the New Democratic Party leadership has met Jagmeet Singh MPP, the newest candidate for the NDP leadership, before, but not likely as a competitor. The only surprise about this meeting is that both these gentlemen are in the same political party. What is ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A better role for NDP’s Nate Cullen.

Frankly, it has been disappointing. Nate Cullen MP from British Columbia has been so busy bitching and whining, he is missing the real opportunity. He has the right to complain about what seemed like a wasted summer of 2016 studying vote reform. It was no waste of time; it was the best exposure he has ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The empty chair of Tom Mulcair.

In a much condemned political schtick by actor-director Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention in 2012, he talked to an empty chair. The chair was supposed to represent President Barack Obama. We always thought it helped get Obama elected to his second term. We were reminded of it recently when reading an op-ed piece ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau tests veto on vote reform.

This scenario has taken place before. He does it in Quebec thinking nobody in the rest of Canada is going to hear about it. Justin Trudeau is hardly the first politician to test the waters before diving into the deep end of the pool. In this case the prime minister gave an interview to Quebec’s ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Labouring against logic.

Pundits are asking if the New Democratic Party is a labour party? Frankly folks, if you do not know the answer, nobody in the party is ready to answer it either. Even an authority such as left-wing writer Thomas Walkom of the Toronto Star is wondering where the party is headed. In a recent op-ed ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Waiting for the Left to shine.

If you are old enough to remember hearing the 1960s Les Paul and Mary Ford recording of the World is Waiting for the Sunrise, you might also be wondering when the New Democrats are going to be old enough to know when they are going to shine. And with the success of the federal Liberals ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: It looks good on the NDP.

It is the way an Aussie friend says, “It looks good on them.” It is not said in a mean way but it implies that they deserve their quandary. And the current condition of the New Democrats is not only well deserved but about time. There are no more political virgins for them to sacrifice. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The NDP Gunfight at the Edmonton Corral.

Who knew? Premier Rachel Notley in her Annie Oakley role had no choice but play to the home town crowd. Now former New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair probably wished he was anywhere else. But the gunfight at the Edmonton Corral was a three-way fight and you had to be careful not to turn your back ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Party conventions are always about money.

The first thing learned about political conventions is that it always has to be at a profit. The second is that if there is nothing contentious, create something. You always have to fill the hall. And filling the hall does not seem to be a problem for any of the three political party conventions planned ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Wandering in the wilderness with the NDP.

Leader Thomas Mulcair is hardly the only New Democrat with something to prove at the party’s Edmonton Convention April 9 to 10. Sure, he needs to justify his leadership but the real question is where Canada’s New Democratic Party is headed? It is obviously not the direction that Mulcair chose for the last federal election. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: But what if FPTP isn’t broke?

You almost hate to ask the question. What is wrong with the way Canadians vote? There seems to be an assumption by some people that first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting is a failure. Does that mean you have to dump FPTP and take a flier on some other theoretically improved voting system? And why is it better? ...

Left Over: Turning a Fail into a Win…

Mulcair takes responsibility for failed election campaign in letter to NDP supporters Mulcair wants to remain NDP leader promising not to repeat mistakes of 2015 election By Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press Posted: Feb 10, 2016 3:51 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 11, 2016 12:44 PM ET     As an NDP supporter, I say this ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: New Democrats search for substance.

They have tried it provincially in Ontario and then they did it again federally. It does not work. Our New Democratic Party cannot change its spots just at election time. If they are going to become a more middle-ground social democratic party, they need to establish some bona fides long before an election. The recent ...

The Disaffected Lib: We’re All Neoliberals Now. Let’s Change That.

One thing that struck home during our extended election campaign was how our mainstream political parties have become deeply invested in neoliberalism. While it has several descriptions, reflective of its insidious vagueness, neoliberalism is the merger of political and economic ideology most often called “free market fundamentalism.” It is a sort of merger of political ...

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Thoughts on the NDP

I’d like to have confidence in the NDP, but they have become a neoliberal party, in full submission to the corporate powers and the neoliberal corporate agenda, despite the fanfare and the piece-meal token gestures. Mulcair certainly is no Tommy Douglas, nor is he a Tony Benn. I hope I am wrong, and I’d be ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: With thanks to the Hair.

This has been the weekend for firming up the opinions and decisions on our federal election in Canada. We are in the last week of a long and exhausting campaign. And it is all thanks to the Hair. He set the election date. He called for the writ early in an attempt to beggar the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The blatant bigotry of the Hair.

The Hair had the support of the Bloc’s Gilles Duceppe in promoting bigotry the other evening. In the last of the badly arranged debate sessions of the 2015 election, Canadians saw their prime minister backed by a separatist asking for votes from bigots. It was probably the most tragic display of the election and nothing ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Election 2015: An Escape Hatch for the NDP?

In an earlier post, I sought to explain (not necessarily defend) the Mulcair team’s decision to run balanced budgets as an election campaign tactic to counter being branded by the Conservatives (and potentially the Liberals)as a profligate manager of the public purse.  Whether or not this tactic is successful will ultimately reflect in the October ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Turning the corner on the 2015 election.

There are many wonderful readers of Babel-on-the-Bay. The other day one of our stalwarts sent an e-mail saying how warming it was to read that the Harper government is toast. Obviously some of the Conservative readers caught a bit of a chill in the words but so far nobody has argued. The best news is ...

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Mr. Mulcair Will the NDP Negotiate A New Health Accord to Include ABA for Autism Under Medicare?

September 30, 2015 Thomas Mulcair  Leader of the Official Opposition Dear Mr Mulcair The Federal NDP has in the past been very helpful in addressing autism on a national level including efforts by Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer who worked with the late Fredericton Liberal MP Andy Scott to effect passage of a National Autism ...

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Mr. Mulcair Will the NDP Negotiate A New Health Accord to Include ABA for Autism Under Medicare?

September 30, 2015 Thomas Mulcair  Leader of the Official Opposition Dear Mr Mulcair The Federal NDP has in the past been very helpful in addressing autism on a national level including efforts by Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer who worked with the late Fredericton Liberal MP Andy Scott to effect passage of a National Autism ...

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Mr. Mulcair Will the NDP Negotiate A New Health Accord to Include ABA for Autism Under Medicare?

September 30, 2015 Thomas Mulcair  Leader of the Official Opposition Dear Mr Mulcair The Federal NDP has in the past been very helpful in addressing autism on a national level including efforts by Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer who worked with the late Fredericton Liberal MP Andy Scott to effect passage of a National Autism ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Mulcair flogs a dead plan for the Senate.

When you know that you cannot possibly achieve your objective, why try to sell it? Obviously New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair is no salesman. A good sales person knows that when something is impossible, you start investigating possible work-arounds to address the issue. Mulcair is lying to Canadians that he has a solution for the ...