Who will NDP members select as their next leader for Ontario?
The provincial leadership contest will be decided by a vote among all eligible members. It's one member, one vote for the first time. Somewhat surprising is that some riding associations have continued with the now-redundant practice of endorsing leadership candidates. The riding endorsement is a throwback to the old way of selecting a leader, when ridings sent a few delegates to the convention and told them how to vote. Those days are over. No longer is any member's vote beholden to the dictates of the riding association or its executive. That would entirely defeat the purpose of having one-member, one vote. The whole point is that each member is free to think and vote as they choose. NDP voting members should not be swayed by a blanket endorsement from a riding. They should shun being led like sheep. What's important now is that those voting for the NDP leader are fully informed and vote with their eyes open.
How is it, for example, that no one's talking about the fact that leadership candidate Peter Tabuns is the subject of a grievance filed in March 2008 by OPSEU Local 578, representing the staff at Queen's Park? The grievance hearing was slated for January 12, but was postponed when the arbitrator unexpectedly declared a conflict of interest and stepped aside. So the grievance has yet to be resolved. Tabuns appears to be ducking responsibility at every turn. Is that what the NDP, the party for workers, wants in a leader – someone who disrespects collective agreements and, by extension, the people who do his work at Queen's Park?
When a hopeful in the race to be leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party is embroiled in a workplace grievance, it spells trouble. It doesn't help that his running mate Cheri DiNovo is a labour relations nightmare, having fired four people without cause or notice for their sin of failing to give up their Labour Day holiday entitlement to serve drinks at Di Novo's family barbecue.
This doesn't belong in "introductions". Moving to "central canada"
I've read on this board and in media reports that Candidate Prue will fund a significant part of his money for riding associations plan by diverting $1 million from the party's $4 million TV ad budget.
Here's the problem. I bet the party didn't have a $4 million TV ad budget. If the party has a $4 million election campaign deficit, it stands to reason there was only about a $1 million TV ad budget, with the rest of the election deficit covering things like the leader's tour, campaign staff at central office and in the ridings, phone banks, polling, lawn signs and support materials for riding associations etc.
If Candidate Prue proposes eliminating all election TV advertising to fund his plans, then what he is proposing is a plan for sure electoral defeat, and that's a plan the party and its members should reject.
If Candidate Prue is serious about providing money to riding associations, he should produce an honest, detailed plan about where he's getting the money and how he's going to pay for it, starting with a proper and honest accounting of the TV ad money.
Why would the NDP allow itself to run a $4 Million deficit?
I like how "tattler"'s first post consists of nothing but gossip, innuendo and tattle-tailing - I guess if the shoe fits - wear it!
Prue promises riding associations $10 G for election campaigns - the next election is a few years away and by that time Prue believes the party will be in a financial position to give campaign teams the support they need to win. Prue intends to turn the party's finances around by empowering riding associations and giving them an incentive to raise money and memberships by reformulating the revenue sharing to a 40/60 split. Prue's platform is based on the philosophy that our support base needs to be empowered so that we minimize social and economic barriers; enable people to become full and active participants in the party; and maximize their full potential. Let us not forget that Prue has experience paying down debt while investing in growth. As Mayor of East York he broght in five consecutive budgets with no tax increases, cut the city's debt by $7.8 million, and brought in new industry and commercial growth - all this during the last recession.
Horwath, Tabuns and Bisson are largely vague about their plans of rebuilding the party and fail to acknowledge the costs attached to these projects. Horwath believes we need to better engage our membership but fails to mention what better engagement might look like. Horwath's platform for party renewal does not seem to be rooted in any particular philosophical belief; rather it's made up of sweeping and vague statements that are pleasing and politically correct.
Tabuns also believes we need to engage the membership and offers a little more detail. He says we need to "mobilize our base" and "develop out reach strategies to new groups." Good idea - but how is Tabuns going to mobilize and do outreach if he's not willing to commit funds to these projects? Tabuns vaguely proposes that we need a more balanced revenue sharing system - but fails to define what balanced is. In addition, he'll offer non-financial support: as leader, he promises to come visit your riding and have other MPPs visit too. He's going to get the NDP into power one photo-opt at a time - now that's rebuilding the party in a flash Tabuns also proposes to engage the membership in policy discussion on-line - but he fails to take into account the cost of staffers monitoring and reporting on such a system, and it assumes our (aging) membership base has access to computers and the skills to use them. Tabuns also promises to hold regular policy forums in order to listen to Ontarians - yet fails again to summarize the costs of such an endeavor. I wonder, if all the school board trustees, teachers, parents and students in support of a one school system resign from the party and join the Ontario masses, will they too finally have the opportunity to be heard by Tabuns and our party? From a wider glance, Tabuns approach to rebuilding the party is based on the belief that our party shouldn't have to bear the costs required to build membership and it's based on the belief that low membership and party engagement is a personal choice and that they just need to be inspired into action. It fails to consider social and economic barriers. The plus side is Tabuns has lots of experience getting poor and disadvantaged people to provide cheap, practically free labour to raise loads of cash for a good cause (Greenpeace). Surely he'll be able to transfer that skill set and apply it to our membership base
Finally there is Bisson who offers a more detailed vision. He too wants to see a 40/60 split revenue sharing system and he also believes that "when ridings are well-financed and armed with strong organizers the electoral results will follow." However, Bisson makes no promises of financial support to ridings or nor does he offer a plan about how he intends to go about raising funds to ensure ridings are well-financed. Most intriguing is Bisson's argument that we need to better engage the Francophone community as there are over 1 million Francophones in Ontario alone. I hope this goal is pursued by whoever becomes leader of the ONDP as it is a very worthy investment. Bisson has great insight, but fails to articulate an approach of how to engage the Francophone community and he fails to attach a price tag to this project.
Michael Prue is up front and honest about the costs associations with his vision of rebuilding the party. The other candidates conveniently fail to mention the costs associated with their proposals, or hold the misguided belief that all costs can be passed to the membership. To grow a party you have to invest in it. To be a good leader you need more than direction, you need firm ideas about how to attain your goals. Experience helps too!
"Most intriguing is Bisson's argument that we need to better engage the Francophone community as there are over 1 million Francophones in Ontario alone."
Its not necessarily a bad idea, but let's keep in mind that according to Statscan, only 250,000 Ontarians speak French at home (i.e. about 2.4% of the province) and two of the ridings with the greatest concentration of francophones are already safe NDP seats (Bisson's own Timmins-James Bay and Nickel Belt). I suppose that this strategy might someday allow the NDP add Ottawa-Vanier - but that's about it.
Of course if Prue became leader with his pledge to scrap the entire separate school system, what support the NDP has among the overwhelmingly Catholic franco-Ontarian community would vanish overnight.
I think we need to reach out to non-voting Ontarians with more on the slate than just school funding. I dont think the 22 percent who elected this bunch in government will swing NDP for this issue alone. No point in fretting over spilled milk, because it's cat food now. There are lots of young people out there with concerns about the economy and environment and who are still pondering which party to support over the long term.
that's not necessarily accurate, given that overwhelmingly catholic quebec and newfoundland have dealt with the issue in a very mature fashion, and there was little, if any, fallout to the governments in power when the issue was dealt with.
'sides, as i keep on saying, this is really a debate about whether the rank-and-file has the right to debate things on the convention floor. the other campaigns like to argue this is a scary thing and should be avoided, but at least one candidate thinks real, live members are grown-up enough to have a grown-up debate, followed by a grown-up vote, followed by getting behind whatever policies flowed from that debate, like grown-ups.
I know what my choice will be;)
First, Prue has said that he will allow the membership to decide on the party's policy on education. Secondly, just because you are Catholic does not mean that you don't support a single education system. Indeed, a number of Catholic school board trustees have been elected on platforms supporting a single education system. More importantly, people in rural areas are more concerned with having a job than whether or not the kid gets catholic education. Having one system would actually create more jobs because it would free up all kinds of money so we could afford to have more teachers in the classroom and we could afford to pay for specialty classes like music, art and rotary. Right now 80% of schools in Ontario, public and Catholic, are only 50% full. Environmentally, financially, and morally we should be paying for one system. Education is the second biggest pocket the province pays out too - so you can imagine just how much money is tied up paying for all these half empty schools and two administrative systems. I don't know about you, but in a recession my bet is that the voter is going to choose food and shelter over separate schools. Finally, Bisson's idea to pick up the francophone community is not just about winning seats, it's about building membership and expanding our donor base - a million new members would be a welcome addition!
Just for some clarification, what Mr. Bisson has been saying about Party reform has revolved around the idea of giving ridings the ability to be more self-sufficient, the idea being that if the ridings have more money year after year, they will be able to afford their own organizers and things of that nature. His party reform platform really revolves around giving the grassroots the tools and incentive to build themselves up and not wait for the central party to do it. If you look at the ridings where we are most sucessful in this province, they are ridings that have built themselves up a great deal and don't need the central party to succeed.
As for Mr. Bisson and the Francophone community, the fact is that the Francophone vote is huge in Northeastern and especially Eastern Ontario (and area where we are shut out provincially). We are not going to win government without areas like those, and it's important that we reach out to them. As Lost points out, it's not just about votes, but about building membership and expanding our base.
But as for a "price tag" in regards to reaching out to the Francophone community, last time I checked no one, not even Mr. Prue, has put a "price tag" on any of their outreach efforts to any community, so I would argue that is a complete red herring. If the suggestion is that Mr. Prue's $10k per riding every election year promise is his price tag, than I would suggest that it sells ridings short at the end of the day. Mr. Bisson's plan of changing the funding formula and fundraising practices would give ridings the chance to bring in much more funding and would do it in a consistent manner, not just at election time, and that would really be the best way to build ridings and internal capacity.
I still don't see an issue with the francophone community. It is most prevalent in northeastern Ontario - where the NDP is already very strong - and then you have two or three seats in the easternmost extremity of the province - that's it!
We'd probably get more bang for our buck putting a major emphasis on building up support in the Chinese and Indo-Pakistani communities which are much more numerous, swing much more ridings and where the NDP isn't already almost maxxed out and clearly has a lot of room to grow.
"Secondly, just because you are Catholic does not mean that you don't support a single education system."
I'd like to think that was true but since something like a third of Ontarians send their kids to separate schools (coincidentally about a third of Ontarians are Catholic!) - obviously a helluva of a lot of Catholic chose the separate school system for some reason.
Of course, let's not forget that if the ONDP decided to eliminate the entire separate school system, we could also look forward to mass resignations and disaffiliations from the million or so people who are separate school supporters and also having the Catholic teachers unions all disaffiliate and call upon their members to actively work to defeat NDP candidates etc...
In principle, having one secular school system is good. In principle having Canada withdraw from the Commonwealth and ending all references to the monarchy are also good. The question is whether these are issues that are important enough to be worth driving away vast segments of the population.
For the last time. Prue has said that he wants to open up any question for debate by the membership, including separate school funding. So it would seem the Tabuns camp who seem masters of both disinformation and the side step spin that would make Howie Meeker agog, aka the Greenpeace affair, would rather belong to a party which does not want to uphold the principals of a democratic free vote.
Further to my earlier post, I thought I would include the link to the media story where Candidate Prue lays out how he'll pay for his plan to give riding associations $10,000 each --
"He [Prue] suggested 'a radical idea' of giving $1 million of the $4-million party television advertising budget to local riding associations."
I'd like Prue to produce some documentation of the "$4-million party television advertising budget" - and if he can't - admit that his promise is either ill-informed or worse.
When did the provincial party climb out of its $4M debt? Not deficit. DEBT.
The party still has a $4 million dollar debt.
There is more to Ontario's Francophone population than Northeastern Ontario. Don't forget about all of Eastern Ontario, both urban Ottawa and rural surrounding, where there are larger francophone populations, where we get between 7-15%, where the Liberals tend to draw most of the francophone vote and where we don't hold any seats provincially. Right there is a group for growth. Also, many immigrants to the GTA and Ontario as a whole speak French as a first language.
But to drill down on these numbers further would be to get away from the big point. Mr. Bisson has never suggested reaching out to Francophones to the exclusion of other communities. It's not an "either/or" proposition, so it's not a matter of "getting more bang for one's buck". Mr. Bisson is talking about the Francophone community because that's a community that we as a party have not traditionally actively reached out to in Ontario and because French is one of our official languages.
Stockholm, you can make decisions based off of myths and assumptions, or you can make informed decisions from listening to the facts. Of course you are purposely not considering all the points that have been raised that clearly point out that many Catholic voters would support a single system. In rural communities, for example, often the nearest public school is too far away because the public school closed down in their community. The public school in their community closed down because it received less funding than the catholic school. That's right; under our current system rural catholic schools get more funding than public schools. Consequently, catholic schools are sometimes the only option unless you want your 5 year old to be on the bus for hours each day, and catholic schools are able to offer more specialty courses like French emersion, which is important in eastern Ontario where French is often the first langue. Your assumption that the NDP would lose the support of the catholic teachers' union if had a one-school system policy is just that - an assumption. It's really, really hard to get a teaching job in Ontario - catholic and public systems alike. Teachers want jobs first and foremost and as I stated earlier, under a one school system money would be freed up and Ontario would be able to hire loads more teachers and fund specialty programs that Ontario's children need. To be honest, I'm disgusted that you would rather cater to this false mindset that people would choose religious schools over children's rights and job creation - especially job creation in a female dominated area. I'm further disgusted that you and Tabuns think the NDP should buy into this mind set. What ever happened to the NDP providing the alternative? Under Tabuns are we just a voice box for the status quo - an eco of Liberal propaganda?
Tabuns can speak for himself. I am expressing my personal opinion, i am not involved in any of the leadership campaigns. We learned once again in the last Ontario election that picking at the scab of religion and education is a lose-lose proposition.
You can try to make this into a vendetta against Tabuns, but I suspect that his views on separate schools in Ontario are the same as those of Bisson and Horwatch and Hampton for that matter - and that also goes for every NDP leader going back to the 60s.
Tattler: Prue's shills have been dropping the innuendo laced attacks on Tabuns & DiNovo everywhere they can. It's on at least three threads around here. You're indignation at our lack of awareness of the labour troubles seems a little misplaced and way overdue. We all know already! Several times over.
What truly concerns you, undoubtedly, is that Tabuns is still a front runner I get that you're a newbie and signed up only to heap disdain on the candidates you're not supporting, but is it too much to ask you to use the search function or better yet read the other ONDP leadership threads before you redundantly inundate us with your umbrage at our being so misinformed?
btw are you one of Prue's shills? Think I'll ferret through his past departmental "labour" relations to see if anything seems untoward. Maybe I too might dig up some kind of grievance. Then I could be magnanimous like you and drag his accomplices/ supporters through the mud. All in the name, of course, of full disclosure and enabling our members to make informed decisions. Then again, maybe I don't feel that Prue poses any threat to Tabuns.
Question. How is Tabuns (let alone anyone) considered a frontrunner. Just because he is purported to have the backing of some high up folks in Ottawa and the old party club it seems to me that in a one member one vote system without polling figures there is no front runner. btw given the rumours of post coalition attempt backlash amongst the membership, were I to run I would want some distance from the Ottawa elites. Back to my point.....Would someone please produce the magical hidden poll results please?
Otherwise give the front runner talk a rest. (kindly)
I am disappointed at this vacuous discussion on the leadership. For any party to build and energize its members and the population it needs to respond to issues of concern to people in a manner that improves democracy, social and environmental justice. This should be the core of the discussion.
Presenting a principled vision that addresses economic and environmental injustice is the core of building the party, attracting new members, electing more representatives and strengthening social movements. The most coherent vision is the new energy economy pushed by Tabuns. A vision that has earned him caution from the Labour and Party establishment which has swung in behind Horvath.
This is the real debate: how are we going to address the economic, democratic and environmental crisis in a way that furthers the cause of justice, rather than strengthening the dominant social order. Many of these posts use lies, innuendo and personal attacks that simply marginalizes the NDP, and other progressives, and detracts from a needed debate on the core issues.
Who in the party establishment has announced for Horwath?
Anyway, my estimation now is that Prue is running third or possibly fourth. Horwath does have a lot of support from labour leaders and Bisson could end up being in second place or perhaps even first (on the first ballot at least) if he can consolidate his support in the north.
Two points on this... First of all I would argue that Mr. Bisson has the most coherent vision for the party as he has been the one that has been running on making our party stronger and in a better position to form government. In my opinion we have great ideas as a party and that isn't what has been keeping us from getting to government. It's been organization and lack of fundraising. Of course that's my opinion so please take it for what you will
Secondly, I wouldn't presume that the party establishment and labour movement have completely swung behind Ms. Horwath. We'll see in the next couple of weeks as more and more unions come out with their endorsements that there is no universal direction where labour is going.
But I would agree that the tone of the discussions here could be better. We can all have our differences and discuss this race without resorting to smears and name calling (not singling anyone out, just a general observation). Remember, when this is all over we need to come together as New Democrats and fight the next election together, and we can't afford to splinter off into factions and such.
Northwestern lad, do you know how many NDP members live in northern Ontario?
Not precisely off the top of my head, but I know that coming into the leadership it was somewhere around 20-25% of the membership. I assume that it's somewhere above that now.
Plus remember Mr. Bisson did just add over 1,100 members to his riding association, making it the largest in the province. More than likely his campaign did sign up other members across the province and in the North too, so that pre-leadership amount is pretty likely to have grown.
Horwath has been endorsed by OFL president Wayne Samuelson and I guess that would constitute being backed by a major "establishment figure". In general though, the party "establishment" (FWIW) seems to have lined up pretty solidly behind Tabuns (ie: the Lewis family, Jill Marzetti, Diane O'Reggio etc...), as have people from the more "environmentalist" wing of the party.
I have no idea who will win since as has been noted, there is no polling and we also don't know what the turn-out among members will be. Past experience has shown that people who join parties as "instant New Democrats" in order to vote in leadership or nomination votes - often don't actually vote in high numbers. We also have no idea where all the preferences will flow. A lot of people in southern Ontario (where the vast majority of members reside) may regard Bisson as a regional candidate and rank him last on the ballot and so the preferences of Tabuns, Prue and Horwath may clump together. Its all speculation at this point.
I would agree that no one knows quite where everything will fall, but I would suggest that the members of southern Ontario view Mr. Bisson as a fair bit more than a regional candidate. The more that he's getting seen and exposed to the folks in Southern Ontario, I would suggest that more and more members are moving him up on their ballots. Add to the fact that he's been living half of the time over the past 20 plus year in Toronto, he's also able to speak to the issues of Southern Ontario with some authority and experience.
Also, as for the "instant member" issue, I would argue that the opposite of their voting tendencies are true. If you've gone out of your way and taken the time and money to take out a membership to support a candidate, you're more likely to actually take the time out to vote for them. Otherwise wasn't the whole exercise of taking out a membership pointless??? Add to that all members can vote by mail, it doesn't take a lot of time out of someone's day to take that next step of voting.
I think he was referring to me
For Immediate Release
February 5, 2009
Andrea Horwath launches "30 stops in 20 days" tour
TORONTO - Andrea Horwath, Ontario NDP leadership candidate, will be meeting residents in 30 communities across Ontario during the next 20 days.
"The next 20 days are about listening to people across the province, from Thunder Bay to Windsor and from London to Sudbury, because promises made from the halls of the legislature just won't cut it. Our solutions will come from the ground. They will come from Ontarians," Horwath said.
Horwath said as NDP Leader she will spend half the year outside the legislature in ridings and communities across the province building up the party base.
"We need to get back to our roots, back to our communities, back to our neighbourhoods and our workplaces. We cannot wait for boardroom solutions because there are none.
My campaign is about Ontarians who know it's time to work together for change that will work for us," Horwath said.
Horwath's own political experience was forged on the ground as a community organizer whose work involved training workers, fighting for decent and affordable housing and making sure people who needed legal representation, got it.
The Hamilton Centre MPP said the current government has become used to making empty promises leaving out too many people in Ontario at a time of crisis.
"Millions of Ontarians need help now and are looking for solid plan for the future," Horwath said, "the economic situation for Ontarians is urgent and requires urgent action.
My leadership is about changing the way the provincial government operates. Ontarians cannot afford to wait for meetings in the legislature, so we're taking the legislature to Ontarians.
It's time Ontarians started making decisions about the direction of the party and the province."
For more information contact: Ramiro Mora, 647 966 8646
For what it's worth, CBC Radio's John McGrath just indicated that he thinks Tabuns is in first, Horwath in second, Bisson in third and Prue in fourth.
He also said that support (including labour support) is "split all over the place" and that it will come down to who the supporters of the third and fourth place candidates prefer as their second choice.
aka MyCroft - I too wouldn't be surprised if Gilles was elected leader or a close second. But numbers speak loudest and right now the race remains very close. The northern vote is completely solid with Gilles and the southern vote is fractured between Tabuns, Prue and Horwath. Tabuns support seems to be concentrated in the GTA. Prue's support seems to be in pockets around the province and Horwath's support seems to be concentrated in Hamilton.
While I'm pretty certain that Horwath has collected the least support in southern Ont., you cannot discount her labour support and labour will account for 25% of the vote. Labour is pretty fractured too. Andrea has OFL, Hamilton Labour Council and some Hamilton based OPSEU support. I suspect CUPE Ontario will throw Andera their vote as the president has worked on her campaigns. Tabuns has the support of CUPE local 1, T.O. area steelworkers, and Unite Here local 75. Prue has the support of COPE 343. Gilles has no union endorsements to date.
If Northwestern_lad is correct and the north has 25% of the membership, once you factor in labour's vote (25%), Gilles only has a 16% to 20% of the vote. If the rest of the vote is divided evenly among the southern candidates, they each have about 26.6% of the vote give or take - assuming that what Andrea lacks in membership support she makes up with labour support.
That said, Gilles could win if he can make some significant gains in the south - I'm not sure if he is capable of gaining significant support from labour. For a southern candidate to win, I think it will be on the second ballot, and I think they will need to appeal to northern voters as the second choice and/or pick up the labour vote as either first or second choice. I think Andrea and Prue are in a good position to appeal to labour's vote and as the second choice of the north. I'm not sure if Tabuns will be able to pick up more labour and I'm not sure if his platform appeals to the north - but hey - I've be wrong before
Scott, no personal insult, sorry to disappoint, I was thinking more of the Waynes, Fraser and Samuelson. Though it should be noted that there are numerous other labour afiliates who have supported Peter and other leadership candidates. Ross
There is one issue that I would take with these figures, and that is that it assumes that Mr. Bisson has Zero labour support and Zero support outside of Northern Ontario. What I would say is that Mr. Bisson has that Northern block as a base of support, making that support not the ceiling but the only floor of his numbers, with plenty of opportunites to grow. The fact is that a lot of labour support is just starting to announce itself. For example, last week UFCW announced that it is endorsing Mr. Bisson, and they bring a big number of labour delegates with them. There are still many other unions to announce what they are going to do, so when more of that vote gets behind a Mr. Bisson, that percentage rises fast. As I have said elsewhere, this race is going to be exciting right down to the end because it's completely wide open.
I'm sure that Bisson has more than zero% support in the south and that he also has less than 100% support in the north.
If in fact the race is wide open and it will come down to who people dislike the least - i think Horvath will win because no one seems to object to her - she seems to be everyone's second choice and isn't divisive the way the other candidates seem to be. (Mind you that is how the Liberals got stuck with Dion!)
I think Tabuns will get support in lots of places outside the GTA, he has been endorsed by Paul Dewar of Ottawa and Irene Mathyssen of London and that is a sign that he has some elevel of support in both of those cities as well.
Does anyone have a list of which unions are actually affiliated to the NDP (OSSTF and the ECTFO are not - I don't think OPSEU is either though a few locals may be) and, moreover, is there a list or at least an educated guess of how labour representation breaks down ie what percentage (or what number of delegates) does Steel have, how many delegates is CUPE entitled to etc? Do labour councils send delegates? How many?
This should be public information but like a lot of things (eg the NDP policy book) it's not on the ONDP website.
I would flip second and third in John McGrath's handicapping, but don't otherwise disagree. What makes that interesting is that Gilles and Andrea have similar connections in labour, concentrated differently, and they are fairly close philosophically.
I was at the London all-candidates meeting and did a rough head count of who gravitated where after the speakers were done. Gilles Bisson was not the most lonely contender. Anyone who thinks he has no appeal in the south doesn't know how many riding association meetings he has addressed over the years. At one point he was the only MPP who could be counted on to speak outside his own riding with any frequency. Many, many old-timers remember that.
As I have said elsewhere, there is no superstar in this field, and no real dud either. Any of the four would be serviceable and they all have flaws or weaknesses.
I do not discount the importance of a clear vision in appealling to voters. If we have no vision we have no business in asking for a vote from anyone.
However, the most serious problems with the ONDP are organizational. We are, to be frank, a mess. I will not vote for any candidate that does not have a clear, believeable agenda for dealing with that.
How do I see the candidates in this regard? Like this (alphabetically by first name):
As a member of the party executive, Andrea has the closest personal connection to the existing order. She says many of the right things, but many members were not happy with very much about how the last campaign rolled out, and she will wear that, fairly or not. She understands the local nature of politics and ground organizing. She has some good people around her.
Gilles made the clearest and earliest identification of the problem, and he has the most cred as an organizational guy within his own riding. He is well kown in many ridings far from home because of his commitment to helping with AGMs and the like. I give him the advantage in this regard. He has certainly done a very good job organizing his campaign and has some serious talent on board. I think some people who counted him out early as a regional phenomenon didn't take a close enough look at his organizing team.
Michael has also spoken very clearly to the problem, but I think his $10k solution comes across as simplistic. Money matters, but in complicated ways. I sense that he has connected with this message just the same. I don't think it will be enough to overcome his organizational difficulties.
Peter has the largest number of party heavies on side, but a rundown shows many of them to be the people who were at the helm as we slammed from one shoal to the next over the last decade and a bit, and people who are angry have noticed. On the other hand, he also has some serious outside-the-box talent backing him as well. I think most of his support is premised on policy appeal, his urban appeal and a sense that he would be well known and accepted right out of the blocks, not organizational considerations. His widely-publicized union issues don't seem to be hurting him much.
I think that the membership's concerns have figured largely enough in this campaign that whoever wins will get the message.
At this point I'm down to two options, barring unforseen developments.
Having the party establishment on your side is a bit of a two edged sword. Granted they have helped get us where we are today, but let's face it with them at the helm we have been a chronic underachiever for how many decades now?
If we want new members we might want to shake the tree.
Yes alpha, the party establishment has done fabulous work getting us where we are today--a 10-member rump with a mid-seven figure debt.
Chronic underachiever is a chronic understatement. The state of the party these days is enough to make anyone reach for the chronic.
You have to wonder if the rank-and-file, who are finally out from under the thumb of a delegated convention, don't consider an endorsement from the party establishment to be the electoral equivalent to the kiss of death.
Make no mistake about it. The farther away you get from Richmond Street, the more palpable the sense of alienation and in some cases, anger.
Of course you could argue that Bisson is part of the problem since he's been an MPP for by far the longest time. He's been rattling there since 1990 - and for the most part has had a very low profile. Prue was first elected in a byelection in 2001, Horwath in a byelection in 2003 and Tabuns in a byelection in 2006. So, maybe the party needs a fresh face!
Howard could have done more, but he was faced with a near impossible mess. In my opinion his main failing was too much loyalty to people who meant well but couldn't lift the freight. We could have had worse in charge.
The executive has performed poorly, frankly, with some exceptions (whose presence on line are invariably a source of enlightenment).
We could have cleared away many of the problems by chucking the Buzzard and some of his cronies in 1995 when he should have been chucked. The stupidity visited on the party in the 1995 campaign lingered far too long (in hope of a spontaneous healing that was never going to happen), and it continues to spread poison; too many problems were left unaddressed by the party apparatus.
Gilles should not be taking a knock for the failings of a party in which he has shown singular good sense.
Anyway, we need to move on and we need to have a leader who can move us on. I think we have options.
Here's how I see it at this point,
Gilles is the clear winner of the new membership drive, 1500+ new members, with some of the best organizers in the field. The other three leadership candidates singed up around 1,000 new member each , and are doing OK, not great, not a disaster, organizationally. While the race wlil not be decided by the 5,000 or so new members but mainly by the 20,000 or so regular members and the labour carve out, organizationally I would give the lead to Giles.
Donations over $100 has Gilles, Michael and Petrer all relatiely equal, over $30,000 with Andrea definitely fourth below $20,000..Yes, the figures are from December, yes they do not count donations under $100, yes candidates will raise money in the next month and go into debt, but financially I see it now ais a three way race between Gilles, Michael and Peter.
Endorsements/power brokers are hard to call, depening on how much weight you atack to them l. Personally I have great repect for Michael Lewis and Janet Solber and tend to think whoever they back, in this case Peter, will be on the final ballot. I also beleive that with Socalist Caucus and HESC backing, Michaell will win the floor fight.
I agree with Peter3 that Gilles should not be taking a knock for the fact that he has been around so long. The fact is that he's built up his own riding and won re-election not because of, but inspite of, the current party structure. That's why he's been running on party reform as one of his major planks. He realizes that if we are going to be successful as a party in every riding across the province, that's going to involve changing how we do our own business internally.
What is HESC? Also, what floor fight? The rules are set and Canadian conventions don't have floor fights over things like accepting delegate credentials. Finally, I'm not convinced that having the Socialist Caucus fighting for you on the floor is a benefit - sadly, a lot of delegates roll their eyes when they see an SC person at the mic and vote against whatever they're for (and vice versa).
NDP hopeful in union trouble
By ANTONELLA ARTUSO, QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU CHIEF
Last Updated: 6th February 2009, 5:09am
Ontario NDP leadership candidate Peter Tabuns has been accused of violating the union agreement covering his party's staff.
Tabuns' decision to lay off his executive assistant at Queen's Park last year has sparked a grievance from unionized NDP caucus staff, who are upset he hired another worker at his constituency office, which is represented by another union.
Tabuns has been endorsed by several unions in his bid as one of four candidates to replace Howard Hampton as leader of the Ontario NDP at the March 6-8 convention in Hamilton.
Randy Robinson, a spokesman for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, said OPSEU had been hoping to settle the grievance, but the issue appears headed to arbitration.
"It sounds like obscure, crazy, inside-union baseball but bargaining unit integrity really is the foundation of whether ... you can have a union in a workplace or not," Robinson said. "If you can't define the work that belongs in the bargaining unit, then you can't negotiate."
Tabuns noted that fellow New Democrat MPPs Peter Kormos and Gilles Bisson did not have executive assistants and the union did not file grievances in those cases.
"I've been in a situation where in order to contain my costs within my budget, I reduced my staff at Queen's Park," Tabuns said. "And the union wants me to increase my staff at Queen's Park ... I do my work; I open my own mail; I advise myself."
Meanwhile in other news
"Endorsements for Peter Tabuns continue to pour in.
CEP Ontario Region Officers
IBEW Local 353
MP Paul Dewar, Ottawa Centre
and many more...
This morning CEP Ontario Regional Officers, including, CEP Ontario Regional Vice-President Bob Huget, and Administrative Vice-Presidents Barb Dolan and Kim Ginter endorsed Peter Tabuns.
As well, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 353, an affiliate of the Ontario NDP, also endorsed Peter, recalling the work Peter did on the Better Buildings Partnership, Toronto’s energy retrofit program for commercial businesses.
Late last week, Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar threw his support behind Peter Tabuns."
This actually does actually seem like a rather "inside baseball" jurisdicational dispute, ie one union is mad that Tabuns has reduced his Queen's Park staff and hired an additional staffer in his constituency office which is represented by a different union. If both offices had the same union would there be a grievance?
What I'd really like to know is how many grievances each candidate has had lodged against them by the various bargaining units...anyone got the skinny on that?
It might also be nice to know if the shuffling out of one QP staffer in exchange for more bodies at the constituency office allows PT to conduct more campaign work.
It may indeed be as Mycroft suggests, but the optics of such a thing taking place while gearing up for a leadership race are dreadful. Like I said, it may be nothing, but to a casual observer, it probably looks pretty shady.