The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Federal NDP non-debate


Well, there was supposed to be a debate between the contenders for the leadership of the federal New Democratic Party today in St. John's. It seems, according to this CBC report, that there wasn't much disagreement among the five candidates present (Vancouver-based candidate Bev Meslo was unable to aford the trip to Newfoundland.)

Sure, any NDP hopeful would be expected to be against U.S. President George W. Bush's stance on Iraq. Or critical of the Liberals' cautious stance (some might say foot-dragging) on implementing the Kyoto Protocol. Or in favour of more federal funding of health care and education. Yes, yes, yes, we've heard all that. If you're a Dipper, you probably agree with it all yourself.

But what sets these guys (and woman apart? Is Lorne Nystrom really a Liberal in NDP clothing? Can Jack Layton deliver the urban vote that has eluded the NDP for over a decade? Would Bill Blaikie change anything at all about the NDP?

And what exactly will any of the contenders do to expand the NDP's share of the vote from about 10% to the high tenns that it had before, and would anyone like to explain why a social-democratic party has done so poorly lately in a country with a strong social-democratic minority? Hell, former leader Ed Broadbent, who let the party to its best results in its history, figures that 30 to 35% of Canadians have social-democratic (read: NDP) values. So, perhaps the new leader might like to demonstrate just how they would change the NDP so that it's in a position to win those votes.

An NDP member, however, isn't going to be able to figure out who to vote for if they don't draw some distinction amongst themselves. So show 'em, damnit!

Elsewhere, there was (finally) a little criticism of one candidate by another. Veteran Saskatchewan MP Lorne Nystrom drew some parallels between his rival Jack Layton and disgraced former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day. Nystrom noted that Layton has no federal political experience, neither did Day when he became Alliance leader in 2000.

I wonder if he might also be suggesting that Layton is prone to foot-in-mouth disease, or perhaps likes silly publicity stunts? We'll see.
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