Monday, September 12, 2011

On Topp

I find the media generally tends to assign too much importance to endorsements during leadership races. After all, Christy Clark came out on top in BC earlier this year with a lone MLA backing her.

But some endorsements do mater. And since Olivia Chow has said she will stay neutral in the race, this is as big as it gets:

Broadbent backs Brian Topp to replace Layton as NDP leader

OTTAWA Brian Topp burst out of the blocks in the NDP leadership race Monday, taking an early head start powered by some muscular endorsements.

The Montreal-born party president became the first official candidate in the race to succeed the late Jack Layton, who died of cancer last month.

He was accompanied by party icon Ed Broadbent, the most popular and successful federal NDP leader — until Layton.

Without fail, the quickest way to get intoxicated during a federal election is to play the "Ed Broadbent" drinking game at an NDP rally. Broadbent is adored within the NDP and his endorsement is widely considered to have been the tipping point that pushed Jack over the top in 1993.

So this was a big score for Topp who, despite never holding elected office, is now considered the frontrunner in the Race for Stornoway. That said...a little perspective people! From Stephen Maher:

With Broadbent behind him and deep roots in his party, Topp now looks to be in the same situation as Paul Martin in 2003.

Thomas Mulcair, the most likely effective challenger, must have been very disappointed to see Broadbent today. He may not want to play the role of Copps in this race.

There's a long list of frontrunners in leadership contests who found out 6 months is a long time the hard way. Topp will be building an organization from scratch. He lacks both experience and charisma. He's also spilled a lot of ink over the past decade as a pundit, so I imagine there are at least one or two controversial comments he'll need to climb down from.

Broadbent's endorsement makes him the frontrunner. But being the frontrunner doesn't mean much.

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  • Exec Director of ACTRA. Look, I'm for the working class as much as anyone and I do consider Marx to be a visionary in his era for workers: anyone who thinks actors deserve a union really makes me question how much they truly understand about the real world. ACTRA's one of the toughest unions, and has absolutely zero concern for immigrant workers in real industries, or the safety levels in mines or on factory lines, or for women or teenagers in the workforce.

    Apparently he's fluent in both languages; it amazes me how many partisans of a candidate (say, as an example, Olivia Chow) can insist that bilingualism doesn't matter, despite the striking and obvious evidence to the contrary (like, say, random out-there example, Jack Layton).

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 10:46 PM  

  • Am I the only one here who realizes that Jack Layton was a flaming bisexual?

    Ha ha ha ha hahahaha ha ha ha

    By Blogger Joseph Kerr, at 11:11 PM  

  • Ed Broadbent was certainly a big factor for me in voting for Jack back in 2003 (probably need to correct the date in your post). That being said, this early on, I'm keeping an open mind to see who else runs. Megan Leslie, Peter Julian, Paul Dewar, heck even that Thomas Mulclair fellow might also be great leaders. Lots of time to see candidates in person, its early days yet.

    By Blogger bza, at 12:21 AM  

  • Does that mean that Broadbent also believes that Quebec should have more seats in the HoC? Or is Broadbent's endorsement not really an endorsement of Topp's announced policy positions?

    He already claims to be ignorant of what the House of Commons rejected and what it passed in the recent past: it rejected recognition of Quebec as a nation, but passed recognition of the Quebecois as a nation within a united Canada.

    Odd that he makes such claims immediately before a visit to British Columbia. Maybe some media can ask him about it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:28 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:29 AM  

  • Hm that Gazette story makes Topp look foolish. In terms of legislative branches, I'm certainly a representation by population person.

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 8:21 AM  

  • Yes, the reviews of Topp's french were quite glowing yesterday.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 4:05 PM  

  • So far he's made 2 major comments that are red flags for me.

    1) He favoured keeping the undemocratic 25% reserve for unions in the leadership race.

    2) He favours the undemocratic, unfair, and intensely moronic notion that Quebec should retain its current share of HoC seats regardless of how small its percent population shrinks.

    I look forward to seeing him try to sell #2 out here in BC, where we are tired of getting the short end of the stick w.r.t. HoC and Senate seats.

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 12:38 PM  

  • in BC, where we are tired of getting the short end of the stick w.r.t. HoC and Senate seats.

    Here, here.

    Hear, hear?

    Whichever it is, that's my sentiment.

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 9:49 PM  

  • Oh my god, there is really much effective info above!

    By Anonymous, at 9:18 AM  

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