The problem with the NDP

The NDP have now grown up into a mainstream, increasingly centrist party nickel-and-diming the poor for their vote and misleading on the environment.  I’m deeply disturbed by their success in Toronto-Danforth.

Over a week has passed since the night while I watched in horror as the Harper government got its majority coupled with the relatively minor shock of seeing the Green vote collapse in Toronto-Danforth despite the widely acknowledged strongest campaign we have ever had.

Nationally I am most concerned about a majority government which clearly caters to oil industry priorities.  In Toronto-Danforth specifically, I’m concerned about the success the NDP has had with convincing voters with timid and contradictory policies that will do little for climate change and will hurt the constituents the party has professed to care about in the past.  I ran a campaign promoting the positive aspects of the Green plan without challenging the obvious defects of NDP policies.  But it’s clear to me now that these need to be made explicit.

I had never expected to win in the NDP leader’s riding this time around, but I did hope for a strong Green vote to pressure Jack Layton and the NDP to improve their climate change policies and address some of the priorities of Green voters.  That didn’t happen, so I need people who care about the Green Party, the thousands who told me that they were considering voting Green, to help put the pressure on the NDP to get it right.

It’s time to stop mincing words.  The stakes are simply far too high.     Read more »

Underdog

Chris Kitching followed me along canvassing, and then wrote this article for CP24.com.  It uses my experience as a jumping off point to delve into the various motivations for underdog candidates.

Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu in TTC station

Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, the Green Party's candidate in Toronto-Danforth, speaks to a man while campaigning for votes at Pape Station recently. Mugnatto-Hamu is in a David vs. Goliath-like battle against the riding's incumbent MP, NDP leader Jack Layton. (CP24/Chris Kitching)

Going toe-to-toe with an incumbent is always a challenge. The task is even more daunting when the reigning MP has a star profile that rivals that of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

So, why are these so-called minnows bothering to invest so much time, energy and money in a short-lived campaign when a landslide defeat is likely?

For Mugnatto-Hamu, a Green Party candidate, she relishes the opportunity to push the agenda of an emerging political party and engage voters on the topic that is most important to her — climate change.

“At one stage I realized that the threats to my children were far more serious, so I was compelled to run,” Mugnatto-Hamu told CP24.com recently as she campaigned for votes at a bustling Pape Station. “I want to change policy and this is one way to change policy.”

Read the whole article on CP24.com.

An open challenge to Jack Layton

Today’s press release:

TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA ADVISORY–(Marketwire – April 12, 2011) – Green Party candidate, Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, issued a challenge today for NDP incumbent, Jack Layton, to attend an all-candidates debate in Toronto-Danforth. If he accepts the challenge, it will be the first time in three elections that Mr. Layton has participated in an all-candidates debate in the riding.     Read more »

Toronto-Danforth candidates for 2011

2011 October 6 provincial election

Candidates in the 2011 October 6 provincial election, in reverse alphabetical order of family name, because that puts Tim Whalley first:

  • Tim Whalley, Green Party of Ontario.
  • St├ęphane Vera, Freedom Party of Ontario.
  • Peter Tabuns, Ontario NDP/NPD.
  • Marisa Sterling, Ontario Liberal Party.
  • John Richardson, Canadians’ Choice Party.
  • John Christopher Recker, Ontario Libertarian Party.
  • Rita Jethi, PC Party of Ontario.
  • Kevin Clarke, The People

Elections Ontario logo 2011The Elections Ontario website has the official list of registered candidates.

2011 May 2 federal election

Candidates in the 2011 May 2 federal election, in alphabetical order of given name, because that puts Adriana first:     Read more »

Town Hall with Jack Layton

In clear pre-election mode, this last Wednesday evening, Jack Layton held a live over-the-phone “town hall” meeting, where he answered questions in real time and polled listeners on their priorities.  It was a great way to outreach to the community and worked quite well.  If elected, I’ll keep that in mind as a way to engage people who prefer the comfort of their own home.  But I’d also like to have in-person town halls and simply attend meetings with local groups.     Read more »