Monday, April 11, 2016

3 silly narratives that have emerged in the wake of Mulcair's defeat

As everyone presumably knows by now, Tom Mulcair has been ousted as leader of the NDP.

In the wake of this defeat, while some are celebrating, others are very angry that Tom got the proverbial boot.

And, as often happens in these cases, people start saying silly shit and making dumb assertions that are simply not supported by reality.

Given that we are dealing with NDP hacks here, these narratives are especially bizarre.

Here are three of them that I am seeing all over social media that are, frankly, bordering on the inane.

1) The decision is unjust. As the entire membership voted to elect Mulcair, it should only have been by a vote of the entire membership that he be removed. 

Can anybody say sour grapes!

And, please.

One could make a strong case that Mulcair would likely have fared worse in a general membership vote, but regardless the leadership review vote was held totally according to the party's constitution and norms. It would have been held had he won the 2015 election! If you think the system is flawed fight to change the party's constitution,

But, you don't get to say the rules are bad just because you dislike the result or outcome.

What if the vote had gone the other way? Would any of those using this line be saying that all members should have had a say in him continuing on as leader? I think not.

The constitution of the NDP gives delegates this power and oversight ability.

They used it. Get over it and move on.

2) There goes Quebec!

This is a pretty humorous one on a number of levels.

Part of the reasoning for initially electing Mulcair was that he would supposedly preserve the inroads and NDP bastion that Layton had created in Quebec.

Except he didn't. In the election of 2015, the Quebec caucus went from 59 elected members to 16.

For some unknown reason, in spite of this, apologists for Mulcair continued with this line even after it had been disproved by, you know, reality, and used it as a case for keeping him on.

They continue to persist with it now. Give it up.

3) The party has chosen the Leap Manifesto over electability! The radicals are taking over!

Oddly, the party's left is also partially responsible for perpetuating this one.

Whatever its merits, the NDP did NOT adopt the Leap Manifesto at its convention. In fact, they adopted a compromise resolution that sent it  back to be discussed, examined, debated, etc, etc, by NDP riding associations which will then bring back all the fruits of their labours to the 2018 convention where a version of the manifesto that may or may not have been modified may or may not be adopted.

It is also likely that Mulcair signaling his alleged openness to the Leap Manifesto actually contributed to his downfall by alienating the very large Alberta contingent.

So what the hell are people talking about?

If you know anything about the way the NDP works internally, this process will probably be a joke, and the party never runs on its membership polices during elections anyway,  so unless they elect a leader who is actually behind the manifesto its adoption will, were it to even happen, mean squat.

Further, other than the repudiation of Mulcair, the establishment backed candidates won all the votes for party office. There was no left shift in the internal power brokers within the apparatus at all.


But, even assuming the party does adopt the Leap Manifesto in a meaningful way, how will that harm the party's electoral chances versus...ummmm...right now?

Not sure if everyone was asleep for the last few months, but the leader who was supposed to deliver the goods with his moderation and caution blew it big time. The NDP lost under Mulcair and lost badly. It now sits at under 12% in popular support in public opinion polls.

Similar centrist campaigns have also failed rather badly in BC, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan lately, so where is all of this promised electoral success? Alberta has been the exception to the rule, but there were also a specific set of circumstances at play there, and in some respects Notley ran a somewhat more radical campaign in tone.

Overall, the evidence is pretty overwhelming that the shift to the apparently "electable" center has been a flop. Sacrificing principle has not delivered power!

At any rate, much of this is predictable.

False narratives are hard to relinquish, so why not double down on them? The NDP's right and its hacks have been very good at that over the years and there is little reason to expect any different from them now.

See also: Tom Mulcair exits stage right -- too late and not soon enough!

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