Wednesday, April 13, 2016

NDP Leadership

First a reminder: many of these posts are written in advance. I'm writing this a short time after my previous post was published. I already have (the math/map for) tomorrow's post written, it is about Manitoba, but we seem to be having polls every few days, so there is a chance that by the time that post goes up, it may again be already dated. If so, I will pen another post, but I am making an effort to keep my Manitoba posts spaced out on every other day.

On to the NDP.

With the removal of Mulcair, the NDP will need to pick a new leader. I've been looking through the possible candidates and have created a list, grouped by the odds, of the people who may run.

Unlikely to win.
These potential candidates may decide to run, but for various reasons, are unlikely to win. They also may choose to not run, however, since they can't win, it does not impact much.

Niki Ashton
She likely will run, but has a problem being visible. People (IE NDP leadership voters) know who she is, but likely do not know much about her. She can't grab attention, which was part of what brought Mulcair down.

Robert Chisholm
He has a similar problem as above, people may know who he is and what he's done, but he is unable to grab the attention that someone needs to win the leadership.

Guy Caron
While Caron may be able to grab attention when he wants it, his problem is he's simply not done enough, and as such, is too fresh and new. In addition, I strongly suspect another Quebecois will be running for leader, and suck up a good fraction of vote that would otherwise go to Caron.

Hassan Yussuff
I don't know why people think he might run. His cred is that he is head of the CLC, but labour is not exactly popular in the country. Most people feel that labour unions only stand up for the middle class as the underclass is generally not represented.

Unlikely to run.
These are candidates that might do well if they run, but are not likely to do so.

Gary Doer
There are a number of reasons he's unlikely to run, take your pick: He's a Moderate when people want to move Left, he's been out of Politics for quite some time, he is going on 70, etc.

Mike Layton
While I admit I don't know his personality personally, it does seem he wants to build a name for himself in Toronto, and he still has some work to do in order to solidify his reputation there. Layton is still partly running on the reputation of his father, when he has his own reputation, he may jump to another level of government.

Romeo Saganash
While it would be good for the party to have a first nations leader, the problems he has faced will likely keep him from running; though his endorsement may be extremely valuable.

Daniel Blaikie
Similar to Mike Layton, he needs to build his own reputation first.

Rebecca Blaikie
The same problem as her brother has, but more than that, she has never struck me as very much of a "leader"

Olivia Chow
I had a hard time deciding to put her here, but given her two recent losses, I think that she may decide to take some time off from politics.

Unlikely to do well.
These are people who are similar to the first group, but may have the support needed to end up winning in a shocker, such as Stephane Dion did.

Paul Dewar
His lack of French will hurt him, but also the fact that he sort of blends into the background. His major plus is he is inoffensive, but that blandness is also what hurts him.

Peter Julian
Less bland than Dewar, Julian may be able to find a path to victory by convincing everyone to rank him #2 on a preferential ballot. Julian is a constituency MP, and as such, is less known nationally than he otherwise would, or perhaps should, be.

Nathan Cullen
His main strength last time, his being a moderate, is deadly now. Cullen will need to wear the fact that he was seen by many as the "merger candidate" last time, an idea that has no pull now.

Wild Cards.
These are people who the media have not focused on, but who could make a run regardless.

Pat Martin
Defeated MP but still popular among some in NDP circles. Martin, known for being angry, may find a lush field of voters should Trudeau's government fail to mollify the working class.

Alexandrine Latendresse
One of the best NDP MPs elected in Quebec in 2011, she resigned after only one term. While there is little to no sign that she wants the job, if she did attempt to take it, she could finish very well indeed.

Dominic Cardy
While a moderate, Cardy has a unique problem that everyone in New Brunswick seems to like him, except for the NDP which he leads.

Pierre Ducasse
The first Quebecois to run for NDP leader, in 2003, he has had an awful electoral record. Despite that, he has managed to become known by those within the NDP, and those looking for an alternative option may look to him.

Strong Candidates.
These are the people who I expect the media to focus on.

Jagmeet Singh
The party has a strong desire to connect with immigrant communities. The NDP has always been about diversity, but the ethnic makeup of their caucus does not reflect this to the degree the party would like. Many may feel that having a leader from a minority group would serve the party well.

Avi Lewis
Associated with the Leap Manifesto, Lewis certainly has the last name to make a strong run. Should be able to rally around the Leap Manifesto, he could use that as a wedge issue to propel him to the top. A Lewis candidacy would certainly result in many keys typed across the blogosphere, and would grab the attention of political nerds across the country.

Charlie Angus
More and more attention is being paid to first nations and problems within some reserves. Most of those reserves are in Angus' riding, and Angus has done a great job of getting attention. The problem has come with turning that attention into action. Angus could easily convince people that he could use that same attention getting ability for the entire party, and that this could lead to Government itself.

The Winner.
I feel that one of these people will win the leadership, however, as noted a few groups back with Stephane Dion, anything can happen when the chips are down.

Peggy Nash
Despite losing her riding, she is still a potential candidate. She did well in 2012, and does have the left-wing credentials to do very well. Nash also has labour connections, and is based in the growing city of Toronto. Another factor may be age. Nash is 64, and may feel this is her last chance to become leader, if so, she may throw everything into this race, and that will serve her well.

Alexandre Boulerice
A certified leftist, Boulerice will have no problem appealing to the left wing of the party. Boulerice will almost certainly unify the Quebecois voters within the party, and will be able to use that base to boost his leadership. I will be surprised if he is not within the final three. The only way he does not run, IMO, is if there are some skeletons in the closet he does not want to come out.

Ruth Ellen Brosseau
Brosseau started her political life as a 20-something "vegas girl" who was seen by many as a 'dumb blonde' who couldn't even speak French. A few short years later she became one of the only NDP MPs to increase her vote share, and has risen the ranks within the NDP itself. Brosseau's biggest strength is that people under-estimate her. A Brosseau candidacy would likely get little serious attention at first, but would also likely quickly rise to the top. Of all the candidates above, she is the only one I could see putting the NDP in serious contention for government in the coming decade.

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