Tag Archives: new democratic party

NDP Leadership Candidates – The Bald, Beard, & Brains

I’m still trying to decide who to vote for in the NDP leadership race. I didn’t know much about the candidates before, so I’ve been watching the debates and following the blogosphere. My criteria for leader – charisma, inspiration, and the ability to defeat Stephen Harper. Here’s who’s impressed me the most.

Nathan Cullen1. The BaldNathan Cullen
More than any of the other candidates, Nathan Cullen thrives in debates. Why isn’t he on tv more? He’s exciting, knowledgeable, and funny. Electoral reform and the environment (whoot!) are his top priorities, and he’s been a strong opponent of the Northern Gateway pipeline. Lastly, he wants to beat Stephen Harper so bad he’s willing to consider joint nominations with the Greens and Liberals in some ridings. Most progressives I know would applaud him for this, but within some NDP circles the idea is kryptonite. I was a bit skeptical at first (as a voter I like having choice), but the plan has merits.
Strengths: Environmentalist, amazing debater, and willing to be bold.

Thomas Mulcair2. The BeardThomas Mulcair
More than any of the candidates, Mulcair looks like he should be Prime Minister. It’s the way he speaks. He’s normally calm and reasoned, but he can also be extremely passionate. His environmental credentials are top-notch, but he is often questioned about his commitment to the NDP because he comes from the Quebec Liberal Party. Personally, I think the NDP needs to widen its base and Mulcair is a good example of that. The real question is can the NDP transition from a great mustache to a great beard?
Strengths: Environmentalist, articulate in both languages, and passionate.

Brian Topp addresses supporters3. The BrainsBrian Topp
Brian Topp is considered the brains behind the NDP’s breakthrough in the past few years. He’s a smart guy and he’s reasonably charismatic, especially if you compare him to Stephen Harper. On a policy front, his priorities are fairer taxes and increasing funding to social services. The left-wing side of the NDP love him, and he’s received the most high-profile endorsements. His youtube channel is full of slick videos and celebrity endorsements, but he doesn’t excite me as much as Cullen or Mulcair.
Strengths: Smart and progressive.

If you want to get a better sense of the candidates, the debates are online. Here’s a collection of short youtube clips starting with a funny one from 22 Minutes.

Continue reading NDP Leadership Candidates – The Bald, Beard, & Brains

Time to Ride the Orange Wave


Who said this election was boring? The political map in Canada is about to see the most radical changes in my life time. I’ve been a life-long NDP supporter, especially with Jack Layton at the helm, but I never thought I’d see an NDP surge wash across the country.

Multiple polls are showing the NDP surpassing the Liberals for 2nd place nationwide. More surprising, they’ve surpassed the Bloc in Quebec. The Bloc has been a dominant force in Quebec since 1993 – always winning at least 50% of the seats. But its bleeding votes to the NDP. Could this be the end of the separatist movement? A death at the hands of the NDP? To start to contemplate what the NDP’s rise in Quebec means, read this Pundits Guide article.

And it’s not just Bloc supporters that are moving to the NDP. The NDP is taking votes from the Conservatives in the Prairies, the Liberals in BC, everyone in Atlantic Canada, and the Greens all over the country. The NDP are the preferred 2nd choice of supporters from every party, including the Conservatives. And even with the recent surge in support, the NDP has the most room to grow. Check out these numbers from the most recent Ekos poll – 24.7% choose the NDP as their first choice, and 25% as their second.

Voters 1st and 2nd Choice
Source Ekos poll April 21, 2011 (pdf)

I’m sure more than a few progressives are concerned about vote splitting, now that the NDP and Liberals are essentially tied nationally. However, the NDP rise is eating more into the Conservative and Bloc seat totals then the Liberals. This projection has the NDP at 60 seats, the Liberals up to 82, with the Conservatives and Bloc both losing seats, down to 134 and 32.

Exciting stuff. Get out and vote! Together we can!
Continue reading Time to Ride the Orange Wave

If the Election was an Episode of Star Trek

What character would each leader be?


Stephen Harper is clearly an android. He has the same emotional range and rigid hair piece as Data. He’s just better at lying. “If you prick me, do I not… leak?”


Michael Ignatieff is a dead-ringer for Sarek, Spock’s father. “It would be illogical for a Vulcan to show anger! It’d be illogical! illogical! illogical! illogic…!”

Jack Layton - Star Trek Convention
Jack Layton has gone where no leader has gone before, a Star Trek convention. He’s definitely channelling Captain Jean-Luc Picard in that uniform. “Make it so.”
Image from scott3eh.


Gilles Duceppe is like lot like Q – mischievous, slightly malevolent, but strangely amusing. “All good things must come to an end…”

Any ideas on what character Elizabeth May would be?