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» babble   » from far and wide   » nfld, labrador, pei, ns, nb   » NSNDP in trouble?

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Author Topic: NSNDP in trouble?
Rutiger
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posted 16 April 2001 10:42 PM      Profile for Rutiger     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Nova Scotia NDP took a gamble last year and it lost. They elected Helen MacDonald as leader, a person without a seat. This didn't seem so bad at the time since this could have turned out to be an opportunity to expand the NDP's base in Cape Breton. Well, that opportunity came and went in the form of a by-election in Cape Breton North.

Not only did the NDP's new leader lose, she came in third. She didn't even do as well as the NDP candidate there in '99. This candidate was running against the premier, one would hope the leader of the NDP could do better than he did.

As a supporter of the NDP I find this embarrassing. The people of Cape Breton North sent a clear message that they did not believe Helen was a strong enough leader to be given the opportunity to lead the official opposition in the house. Instead they elected a Tory backbencher.

The most frustrating thing is that despite the fact that her support within the is in rapid decline, she is insisting on staying on. I fear that the NDP under her leadership will collapse to where it was before it's big breakthrough in '98.

[ April 16, 2001: Message edited by: Rutiger ]


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Nic
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posted 17 April 2001 05:08 PM      Profile for Nic     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Helen is clearly puting her own personal interests ahead of the interests of the NDP and other progressive orginisations. The Hamm government is getting away with way too much woithout faceing a strong resistance. Now is a time when the NDP needs to have visible leadership in the house and on the media, Helen really isn't giving that. The NDP is really letting everybody down right now by being so invisible.
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wagepeace
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posted 19 April 2001 08:15 AM      Profile for wagepeace     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The reality is thus:

The NSNDP is in dire need of a refit - the good news is that they have two years before the next election to do it. Will they self-destruct? Probably not, but you need to recognize that the NDP in Nova Scotia has always been a protest party with no real platform or universal appeal.

Nova Scotia has and always will be either Tory or Grit - it's as simple as that.

John Hamm's government is inept- there can be no doubt. But understand one thing: they are making the cuts that other provinces made ten years ago!

Some of those provinces also had NDP governments. Even if the NDP formed a government in Nova Scotia, they would make similar cuts in order to eliminate the deficit.

Any NDP government is questionable because the party at both the federal and provincial level is more or less a glorifies special interest group bearing no resemblance to the party of Tommy Douglas.

He is likely turning in his grave as we speak.


From: In a fog and on anti-psychotics | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 20 April 2001 08:12 AM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Something I hadn't really thought about until recently is that Helen is now being handled by the same people who handled Robert Chisolm so terribly during the last provincial election. It's a shame that the public (at least, speaking for myself) doesn't really think about all the behind the scenes people who make decisions. The Leader is the one with the public profile.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
babbler 8
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posted 20 April 2001 09:25 AM      Profile for babbler 8     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That much is true. Of course that is also an aspect of leadership. If there are handlers that need to be fired it's really up to the leader to make that decision.

Robert wasn't prepared to do that which is, from what I hear, why he quit when he did. Though I understand he wasn't going to fight another election anyway.


From: take a break, we've been on this site too long | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nic
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posted 20 April 2001 09:42 AM      Profile for Nic     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree, if a leader dosen't have the sense to fire the people giving them bad advice, or at least ignore the bad advice they get, then they don't have what it takes to be leader.
From: Incheon, Korea | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Charles
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posted 21 April 2001 01:04 AM      Profile for Charles   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
At the risk of opening up a big argument on this, Nic wrote: "The NDP is really letting everybody down right now by being so invisible."

This is a myth, frankly. I would challenge anyone to do some archival research during any period in the history of the NSNDP with the exception of during elections and find a period when we had more coverage than now. I've done it and I can't find it.

There are isues that need to be addressed but blaming the leader exclusively is naive as hell. I'd like to hope that more constructive solutions are forthcoming from these quarters.


From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 24 April 2001 11:07 AM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Helen to resign today?
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
wagepeace
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posted 24 April 2001 12:30 PM      Profile for wagepeace     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Enter Peter Mancini (I freakin' hope not) or Kevin Deveaux (Nice Guy, high energy level and fairly articulate and drives a truck)
From: In a fog and on anti-psychotics | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
chrisw
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posted 24 April 2001 12:53 PM      Profile for chrisw   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank dog that's over with.
From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 24 April 2001 01:34 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
wagepeace: or Maureen!
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wagepeace
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posted 24 April 2001 01:58 PM      Profile for wagepeace     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I could see Maureen throwing her hat in again, but you know, she really pissed off a lot of people in the Deveaux camp over the ageism thing - you know, "maybe in a few years Kevin will ...."

I know Kevin personally and I think he is still pretty mad about that.

Personally, I think I should be the NDP leader, here's why:

1) I can charm the pants off of myself
2) I have male pattern baldness therefore at the ripe old age of 33 I look incredibly studious and wise
3) I have really nice green eyes
4) I have love handles, therefore I am comfortable with myself and you should be too
5) I have no union friends and at least one friend who is a social worker in Cape Breton
6) I have been an Executive Director of a registered charity in Metro Halifax
7) I drive a minivan
8) I have a Great Dane and a Whippet
9) People can't figure out if I am on the left or right
10 I know all the staff at the Tim Horton's in Eastern Passage

The other important factor is that I do not have a cheezy moustache like John Holm.

Vote for me, it can't hurt!


From: In a fog and on anti-psychotics | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
chrisw
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posted 24 April 2001 02:37 PM      Profile for chrisw   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I heard that Maureen will not be running again. Then again 10 months ago I heard a rumour that Helen MacDonald wasn't a complete raving imbecile.
From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 24 April 2001 02:42 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hee!
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Charles
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posted 24 April 2001 03:10 PM      Profile for Charles   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm glad the tone here is positive and affirming. Way to build bridges Chris! Classy and full of character.

Maureen would be alright be me. So would Darrell Dexter, John Holm (mustache and all), Graham Steele, Peter Mancini, Bill Estabrooks, Peter Stoffer, John MacDonnell and a few people who aren't even members of the party. Wagepeace also seems to have some credentials I could get behind.


From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
babbler 8
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posted 24 April 2001 03:32 PM      Profile for babbler 8     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Better to speak your mind in public than to engage in a whisper campaign.
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Charles
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posted 24 April 2001 03:41 PM      Profile for Charles   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What in God's name whisper campaign are you talking about? I know of the one against Helen going back a ways but it's not the first time you've refered to another.

I'm all for speaking one's mind but kicking someone while their down is just low.


From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 24 April 2001 07:02 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Okay, I'm in an akward place, because I'm running these boards, but I also know a handful of you rabble-rousers personally, and don't have conflict with any of you. I do need to say, however, that I heard very little "whispering" about Helen. Most of the people I know were quite vocal from the get-go about their issues with her.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
wagepeace
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posted 25 April 2001 06:22 AM      Profile for wagepeace     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I understand the NSNDP Party President who is also Peter Mancini's wife has said that she doesn't want him to run - he needs to pay the mortgage.

Methinx his wife hath lay down the law.

So, it is pretty clear that there is room for Kevin. Anyway, he as till june and you know, I could beat him at a leaderhip convention because of my incredibly magnetic personality, my Ned Flanders-ish optimism and of course, my balmy oratory.

Vote wagepeace! It can't hurt!


From: In a fog and on anti-psychotics | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
babbler 8
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posted 25 April 2001 07:57 AM      Profile for babbler 8     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that whether or not Peter Mancini is going to run will be answered by whether or not Marian Mancini runs again for president of the party. If she is, he's not running otherwise he is. Peter is a talented person, but he is also without a seat which will make people nervious now.
From: take a break, we've been on this site too long | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
wagepeace
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posted 25 April 2001 08:22 AM      Profile for wagepeace     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yup. I think you have hit the nail on the head.

Frontrunner - Kevin Deveaux

... that is, of course, until I come swooping in and capture the imagination of everyone!


Vote wagepeace! It can't hurt!


From: In a fog and on anti-psychotics | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
babbler 8
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posted 25 April 2001 09:04 AM      Profile for babbler 8     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well Wagepeace, you might get some of those "anybody but Kevin" people behind you. Yes, let's elect another leader for who they aren't.

[ April 25, 2001: Message edited by: Jeff ]


From: take a break, we've been on this site too long | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 25 April 2001 11:13 AM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Was that a dig, Jeff?
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
chrisw
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posted 25 April 2001 12:12 PM      Profile for chrisw   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Indeed I am classy and full of character, although that might be difficult for someone who constantly speaks like a press release to understand.

Mr. Courtier, I mean Crosby, Helen MacDonald and her merry band of incompetent status-quo apologists stand for nothing but the preservation of their own influence within the party. As sad as this is, considering the party's lack of any real power, her resignation is the best thing to happen to the NS NDP since we won 19 seats in the 98 election.

The funny thing is, with the exception of Maureen and Darrell, your list of potential leadership contenders is pretty close to mine. The bridges already exist within the party. Helen's people should wipe their tears and help the rest of us get on with the process of building the party that was retarded by Mrs. MacDonald's leadership.


From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Charles
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posted 25 April 2001 12:18 PM      Profile for Charles   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Audra, I think that was more directed at me, methinks.

Sometimes voting against someone is as valid as voting for someone. If someone would be dangerous to the future of the party or unnecessarily divisive, or simply untenable, then it's a valid course of action to try and stop someone from doing bad things. On the other hand I believe firmly in having someone you can believe in on the other side if possible, it just feels a little too empty otherwise.

In 14 years in the NDP I have participated in one ON leadership convention, 2 in NS, 2 federally (my record in getting with the winner is 2-3) - only twice was there a case of needing to make sure someone was stopped for what they would have done to the party. In only one of those cases was it purely an anti-vote - 89 federal - I had no candidate, but I hated the idea of Audrey McLaughlin winning so I simply worked against her and my support moved around as her challengers shifted stregnth. I felt this was important to do but it felt pretty empty compared to when I could combine the need to do a service to the party with someone else I really believed in.


From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
wagepeace
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posted 25 April 2001 12:25 PM      Profile for wagepeace     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So let's do a straw poll:

Will it be Kevin Deveaux, Peter Mancini, John Holm, Maureen or Wagepeace?

Let's see how the landscape develops here


From: In a fog and on anti-psychotics | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Charles
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posted 25 April 2001 12:29 PM      Profile for Charles   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Chris: Personal attacks on someone who has already left doesn't get us anywhere. Your feelings were valid and I always fought for voices like your to be heard, but personal attacks (on me or on Helen) make you look childish. If it's time to move on change your invective. Some complain the YW doesn't get taken seriously, well maybe it's because instead of reasonable debate a small few would tar the reasonable many in the group and rather call someone a "raving imbecile" or "Mr. Courtier" for having the courage of their convictions to stay by the side of the person they helped elect (I would do the same for any politician I had a role in electing, and always have).

You wrote: The bridges already exist within the party.

I completely agree. I worry that some won't travel across those bridges. Some want to quit, others want to do things like organize a Cape Breton wide boycott of convention. These are mistakes and would ensure we never come together. On the other side, some want to turn to someone who would further divide us. That's a mistake too and would divide us further still. I'm prepared to move on. This chapter has been written, this party's in deeper trouble than ever and there's a lot of work to be done. We could insult each other or we could recognize that broken in two, the NDP won't win much of anything, never mind government.


From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Charles
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posted 25 April 2001 12:36 PM      Profile for Charles   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wagepeace: Interesting question. I could live with Peter Mancini, John Holm, Maureen or Wagepeace. I've heard Don Connally's name thrown around. That would work for me too. So would Darrell Dexter or Graham Steele. There are a few others with no chance of winning but who I'd like as well. From your list I think Peter Mancini, as he's the most articulate person in the entire party and can be truly inspiring. The seat thing wouldn't bother me because by the time we elect a new leader we'll be in election mode and he could target a riding for the general election anyway. Besides, the Liberals will probably elect a leader outside caucus almost the exact time we will elect a new leader.

I don't think Maureen would run. I doubt John Holm would either. I could live with either, though niether are my first choice.


From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
babbler 8
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posted 25 April 2001 02:04 PM      Profile for babbler 8     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well no use hiding it, I like Kevin. He'll need to build some bridges to win, but I think that's possible. Pariahs of the party unite!
From: take a break, we've been on this site too long | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
chrisw
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posted 25 April 2001 02:05 PM      Profile for chrisw   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Charles: I'm simply reacting to the constant stream of poor-losership (for lack of a better term) that has filled the press from Mrs. MacDonald's people since about 11:30 yesterday morning. I am glad that she made the right decision for both herself and the party. The problem is that she (nor you, evidently) seem to have any idea why some of us have been clamouring for her resignation.

Helen was a good MLA. Heck, she was even a good deputy speaker. But she also lost to a guy who, let's face it, isn't quite the sharpest knife in the drawer. To be blunt, Helen lacks the political skills neccessary to lead even a strong Opposition party.

I don't really care if you think I "look childish": there are few contests I would win based on appearance. I care little for any "political reputation" I might gain. The simple fact is that this whole thing has been a distraction from the fact that we need a capable leader to take on the most right wing government Nova Scotia has seen, well, ever. I also don't belive in blithely tossing history over our shoulder. A party must learn from its mistakes and, sorry friend, she was one of them.


From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Charles
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posted 25 April 2001 07:07 PM      Profile for Charles   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What's funny is I agree with a lot of what you've written. I know Helen had her faults. I always hoped and believed they would develop into stregnths. Maybe they wouldn't have, who knows now?

Yes a lot of Helen's supporters are upset. They are acting out, much as many of Kevin's people did after he lost to her last July. I hope it goes away before too long because there's alot to do here in NS if we are going to have any chance in the next election.

I just hate to see Helen attacked personally and there has been some of that including your earlier post.

I know why some have clamoured for her resignation. I tried to address some of those issues while she was leader. Some would never have been placated. Others had legitimate beefs and I tried to set up meetings between some of them and Helen to address them face on. I wanted those concerns heard and I worked damn hard to have them heard. I even agreed with some (maybe even a lot) of the concerns, but I honestly thought they could be overcome. Maybe I was wrong. We'll never know for sure.

I've half my life to this party and I just want what's best for it. I thought that was Helen MacDonald, right or wrong. Now I want to see us rebuild from all the damage that has been built up since 1999. I am ready to reach out to anyone who is willing to make the same committment. Helen is gone, now we look forward. (and if I help elect the next leader I'll be every bit as faithful to that person as I was to Robert and to Helen, if that's a fault it's one I'll wear).

Yours.
C.


From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nic
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posted 26 April 2001 01:26 PM      Profile for Nic     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's what Parker Barss Donham has to say about Helen stepping down.
Exit Helen MacDonald

I think he's right for the most part. This part relates to why I think she couldn't stay on as leader

quote:
The people who fashioned MacDonald's upset leadership victory understood the imperatives of power. They knew that many in the party liked Helen personally but didn't believe she possessed the requisites for the job. So, they carefully positioned her as a compromise choice that could come up the middle.

She never really was a compromise candidate in any real sense since few Kevin supporters would have ever voted for her. She gained power by vilifying one camp, then when she had power she alienated both the camp she had vilified and the people who had united with her against that camp. Her outreach into the party didn't produce results in either better, more clearly articulated policy, or in an improved standing in the polls. By failing to do both of these things she managed to alienate more than just Kevin supporters. She turned off Maureen supporters, six caucus members (and I'm sure it was actually more than six) and the many in the Youth Wing (who btw are definitely not all in support of Kevin).

She won by being a false compromise candidate, but she failed to realize that compromise candidates have to keep more than just their own camp happy in order to keep power. The have to be willing to change their tactics when it is clear that they aren't working, Helen had vocalized on many occasions that she was not going to do that. She did the right thing by stepping down.

Now it’s time to move on.

[ April 26, 2001: Message edited by: Nic ]


From: Incheon, Korea | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 30 April 2001 02:20 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How do we all feel about Mr. Dexter?
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
babbler 8
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posted 30 April 2001 10:39 PM      Profile for babbler 8     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dexter is a very good parliamentarian, so I have no problem with him that way. I will have a major problem with him though if he takes advantage of this to run for leader himself. I have a big problem with his conservative approach, but he's OK for interim.
From: take a break, we've been on this site too long | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Vince
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posted 03 May 2001 12:39 AM      Profile for Vince     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm echoing Jeff's sentaments. He'll probably be able to get things together, and I'm happy with that as long as he doesn't get the idea that this is a permanent job.
From: Prospect Heights, IL | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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