Thursday, October 13, 2011

Updated NDP & Bloc Leadership

So, as everyone who is anyone should be aware now that Québec's favourite son, Outremont MP Thomas Mulcair, has officially jumped into the race, and beside him come 33 MPs, including two veterans from Ontario.

Mulcair, with the 33 caucus endorsements, plus the endorsement of former MP and leadership contestant Lorne Nystrom and provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy, is light-years ahead of other contestants like Brian Topp or Paul Dewar.

It's important to note that Mulcair's strength is clearly among the new Quebec caucus, and he's now gained the support of 30 of 59 Quebec MPs, while Topp has the support of three. All of them will be listed in the link to the right under the "NDP Leadership Count".

However, Mulcair also gained the support of four Ontario MPs, including Wayne Marston and John Rafferty, who are in their third and second terms, respectively. Beaches-East York MP Matthew Kellway and Scarborough Southwest MP Dan Harris also supported Mulcair. This now technically gives Mulcair the highest amount of caucus supporters in Ontario as well.

Brian Topp has also picked up a couple of endorsements, particularly those of Quebec MP Alexandre Boulerice and BC MP Jean Crowder, both known names within the caucus. Burnaby-Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart, who had previously supported Peter Julian's candidacy before he declined to run, also threw his backing behind Topp. More importantly, however, Topp picked up the endorsement of the United Steelworkers union.

Finally, Paul Dewar grabbed the support of Manitoba MLA Kevin Chief, and is apparently harvesting the Manitoba NDP's soul - er, advisers, to run his campaign.

Moving on, you may be surprised to learn that, yes, the Bloc Québécois is still around. And it's leadership race, slated for December 11 of this year, already has three candidates that one can't entirely scoff at.

Ahuntsic MP Maria Mourani is running, the only woman to do so, and is apparently running to distance the Bloc from its provincial cousins, the Pequistes. I don't know what that's all about.

Haute-Gaspésie-La Mitis-Matane-Matapédia MP Jean-François Fortin, who was the only rookie MP elected to the Bloc's caucus, is also running. I don't know what his campaign is about, but I wouldn't assume he's running to be the heir of Gilles Duceppe.

Instead, that's the job of former Hochelaga MP Daniel Paillé, who was thought to be running before, decided he didn't want to, and now decided to come back. He seems like the "Duceppe" candidate to me, which I don't know how that works in inter-Bloc politics, but probably makes him someone to contend with. He's experienced, he's got connections, and he wasn't totally humiliated (though still humiliated) by the 2011 results in his riding.


  1. Why do I still get the feeling the fix is in for Topp? The only kind thing I have to say about him is he's slightly less objectionable than Mulcair. I seriously doubt any of 'em will take their party further than Jack Layton ever did.

    As for the Bloc, I'd be rootin' for Daniel Paille. He's the one who got Stephen Harper and the Cons' knickers in a bunch when Harper hired him to look into Liberals' irregularities, but Paille also found spending irregularities on the Cons' side. He's no Gilles Duceppe, but I think if he were leader, he just might bring life back into the party.

  2. Topp is getting the backing of the establishment, there's no doubt about that. And thank's to the NDP's unbalanced membership numbers (as they are so far), he'll likely get in because Mulcair can't muster much outside of Quebec.

    But I agree with you - I can't see Topp, or Mulcair, or any of them, as building the same momentum Layton did. But remember that Chretien didn't so much build the Liberals to the '93 win, so much as the PCs just collapsed before him. All it takes is for the Harper Conservatives to suffer the same fate, and the NDP could breeze in, along with Topp/Mulcair/whoever.

    What do you know of Fortin?