Sunday, April 10, 2016

Two outstanding speeches, and a divided party help sink Mulcair today....leadership review approved

Anyone who listened to the speech delivered by Stephen Lewis yesterday at the new Democratic Party Convention in Edmonton quickly realized deeply that, had he been the party leader on October 15, 2015, the NDP would now most likely hold power in Ottawa. His inability to master French aside, even in his self-described "dotage" (which he hates) he nevertheless is still the party's silver-tongued Pericles, impassioned, insightful, charismatic, and fully impactful in his direct attacks on the current Trudeau Liberals.
Calling out Trudeau's---
  •  'feminism' as superficial in the extreme, given his failure to plan to deliver $15/day child care,
  •  his sale of light-armoured vehicle to the Saudis, a regime that overtly practices misogyny, deplorable, especially when 'covered' by the argument that the sale was irreversible
  • his failure to include funding for national pharmacare,
  • his failure to include homecare in his health care budget proposals
  • his failure to overhaul the funding formula for national health care with the provinces 
  • his likely vote and support for TPP, his 'mirage' commitment to the voluntary details of the Paris agreement on global warming and climate change,
  • his tilted even skewered tilt toward electoral reform that favours Liberals blatantly, the preferential ballot, and not proportional representation
  • his duplicity in announcing changes to C-51 without delivering anything more than cosmetic adjustments
Lewis held his audience rapt in both attention and awe as he also energetically advocated the LEAP Manifesto, which argues for keeping crude in the ground, and a compelling initiative to renewable energy sources, and a clear voice in opposition to that of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's call for a pipeline to 'tidewater'. Notley's fight in defence of her province uses the pipeline as cornerstone of her argument, a 'national need' that would make it possible for Alberta to get a world price for its crude, and in the process find real jobs for the some 60,000 workers who have been sidelined in the oil price crash. Mindful of the need to retrain and find jobs for those displaced workers, Lewis called a commitment to renewable energy technology as the "Marshall Plan" for generating employment.
In an equally dramatic metaphor, referencing a report he co-authored following a global warming and climate change conference in 1988, which he also chaired, following the invitation from then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Lewis read from the conclusions of his report, saying they were relevant then and remain so, sadly, today, given how little has been done to forestall, let alone prevent', the impending 'apocalypse' that damage to the environment will force upon humanity, between 2030 and 2050.
His experience, leading the NDP to three successive defeats in Ontario elections (rendering Thomas Mulcair a mere neophyte in losing elections!) and his passionate commitment, courage, vision and prophetic voice, continue to justify the more than 30 honorary doctorate degrees, and to inspire a party his father led in the Trudeau era of the 70's and 80's, prior to Ed Broadbent's election to the leadership. If one were in Mulcair's shoes, during and after the Lewis speech, one would be feeling accelerated pulse rate, more shallow breathing and sweaty palms, facing the prospect of having to defend his leadership in his own speech later today. It is not only Notley's standard he has to meet and surpass; he also has to 'compete' at least in the minds of the some 1700 convention delegates for their votes calling for a leadership review. Thankfully, neither Notley nor Lewis will be on the ballot, in the leadership review vote. Mulcair nevertheless is unlikely to reach the 70% quota that would give him perhaps enough moral authority to continue as leader, context of these two speeches having done little to nothing to support his bid to continue.
Vision, passion, elocution, and, yes, credibility will nearly always conquer earnest and eager and ambitious determination....and Mulcair's profile of the latter list does not bode well for his retention of the party's mantle of leadership.

No comments:

Post a Comment