Monday, July 28, 2014

Democratic Dipper Values In Action

Oh, this is brilliant:
Long-time Progressive Conservative MLA Bev Harrison invoked the memory of former British prime minister Winston Churchill as he confirmed on Friday that he will run for the NDP in the next provincial election.

Harrison appeared with NDP Leader Dominic Cardy at a news conference on Friday to confirm that he will run for the NDP in the Sept. 22 election.

... The NDP’s riding of Hampton is in tumult with resignations, allegations of heavy-handed politics and party switching.

Pat Hanratty, the riding association’s president and a former president of the provincial party, resigned this week and posted on Facebook that he was quitting the "Un democratic party", adding, "I'll be back when the reign of terror is over."

And the riding’s previously announced candidate for nomination, Chris Rendell, has had his approval revoked suddenly.

Rendell said the party is pushing him aside in favour of Harrison.
"What's really going on is a cut-throat vicious group of people in Fredericton who are willing to do whatever it takes to clear the way,” he said.

I've heard a lot of stories out of the New Brunswick NDP recently, some good and some, like above, obviously bad. This is clearly a sign of the times, as NDPers around the country are attempting to turn into Harper-lite groups in their attempts to win elections.

Now I'm not saying getting this sitting MLA to run for you is a bad idea, nor that my own party doesn't have its kinks and questionable practices here and there. As far as I'm aware though, we've yet to shunt aside a nominated candidate in favour of an incumbent aisle-crosser this year, and even if we have somehow, we don't ride high horses into town on a regular basis to begin with. The NDP, from coast to coast, do.

Its also confirming the trend of the NDP moving to a hazily defined "right," which is either characterized by crass populism, legitimate policy shifts, or bold-faced retreating from its traditional roots

I'm not a personal fan of this attempt to schmooze up the electorate from the NDP. Yes, its a good idea to moderate your policy positions in order to cast your appeal to the widest possible pool of voters.... but its not helpful to alienate voters at the same time. 

The recent Ontario election is a good example of what happens when, in an attempt to gain voters, you then start to lose them. Yes, Horwath gained new voters in Southwestern Ontario's smaller cities - areas where the population isn't growing, the voters are fickle, and your in competition with the Conservatives and thus need to modulate your appeal to Conservative voters. Meanwhile, she loses supporters in Toronto where the Liberals can pick up voters, take old strongholds, and help pad their own margins against Conservative competition in this fast-growing area.

Now, to point out that may be the right strategy to pursue for the NB NDP, considering their small stature and nowhere-to-go-but-up position in the province's political spectrum. So, who knows, maybe sacrificing their values that they tended to hold so high was worth it - or... well, maybe not. 

Either way, damn shame. Hopefully Mr. Rendell will find another party to join soon enough.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Liberal Bloggers Are Taking Over the Party, Part 1 - Danielle Takacs

I’ve been relaxing this summer, so my activity on the blog has been a bit low, but I was asked to help out with an endorsement of a great candidate, a former blogger who is taking the big leap into federal politics – and I’m more than happy to do so.

I don't think I've ever met Danielle Takacs in person, but when I first became an active Liberal back in the 2008 campaign, and shortly thereafter discovered Liblogs and ProgBlogs, her blog Galloping Around the Golden Horseshoe was a wonderful read every time she put out a post. Not only is she intelligent and informative (demonstrated in this post on electoral reform, one of my first exposures to this idea), but I can honestly say some of her posts inspired me to further my involvement in this whole “Liberal” thing. Case in point was her excellent coverage of the 2009 Bienniel Convention in Vancouver that sparked my interest in attending this vast event featuring thousands of Liberals from across the country coming together – which I’ve done twice so far.

Danielle hasn’t been blogging for quite awhile now, but she has been very active in her career, community, and local Liberal association in her home riding of Brant, where she is currently running for the nomination to be the candidate for the 2015 election. I really want Danielle to win this, as I feel she would be a great candidate versus Brant’s current Conservative MP, Phil McColeman, who is just one of the many trained seals in the government caucus (along with my MP and many many others, especially from Ontario). She not only has the experience to be a great MP, but she has the right ideas that are will bring the issues and concerns of the residents of Brant to the forefront in a way that hasn’t been seen since 2008.

I especially believe her commitment to be an active voice for the Six Nations within Brant riding will be a positive change from the current situation, and one that should be emulated among all MPs representing ridings with First Nations communities, no matter your party’s colours. Danielle's commitment to make Six Nations concerns one of her priorities shows that she understands that fact.

But don’t take my word for it – her website lays out all of her well thought out ideas, priorities, and commitments for you to check out.

So if you’re at all interested in ensuring Brant has the best candidate for the next federal election (whenever its called), I urge you to support Danielle Takacs for the Liberal nomination. She is not only ready to represent Brant, but she is the right person to represent this crucial riding.

(And if you’re already supporting Danielle, whether you’re from Brantford, Paris, Six Nations, or any of the communities in the riding, or if you’re just a fan from outside Brant, every little bit counts, so don’t hesitate to ask Danielle’s team how you can contribute!)