Roundup: Digs at the current leader

The NDP had their final official leadership debate yesterday in Vancouver, and it was about as exciting as any of their debates have been so far. But scratching beneath the surface, there was an undercurrent that was playing out which was deeply critical of the way that the party has been run under the leadership of Thomas Mulcair, and why they planned to fix it.

One of the points that was noted several times by both Guy Caron and Charlie Angus was that the caucus was being underutilised when it comes to outreach, and furthermore, Angus was very critical about the way in which the grassroots membership was being taken for granted and dictated to rather than giving input into the process. While this is really par for the course in pretty much all parties these days, thanks to top-down leadership styles brought on by the fact that we now run leadership contests as presidential primaries in this country (and the fact that these very same candidates are playing into it with competing policy platforms that were developed by their own teams rather than the grassroots membership), the fact that they hammered away at the caucus being underutilised was something that stuck out for me, because it certainly implies that Mulcair has been running a party-of-one (and yes, those are shades of Stephen Harper you’re seeing). But while Angus and Caron talked about not enough effort being made to translate what was going on in the House of Commons to their base, one has to wonder how they plan to remedy that, and whether we’re going to see an explosion of YouTube clips of MP speeches (which are generally terrible recitations of scripts into the record) attached to more fundraising demands, demonstrating the “good work” that they’re doing in Ottawa.

Meanwhile, here’s Éric Grenier’s analysis of the various endorsements of the candidates, and what the breakdown of them looks like regionally, while Jagmeet Singh dropped a new policy proposal of decriminalising all illicit drug possession as a harm reduction measure, much as Portugal did.

Good reads:

  • Bill Morneau went on the Sunday political shows to reiterate that the proposed tax changes aren’t about small business, but self-incorporated individuals.
  • Andrew Scheer is spinning in some epic disingenuous nonsense in his claims about the tax changes being designed to kill the family farm.
  • From the Conservative caucus retreat in Winnipeg last week, the party wants the government to promote good policy instead of “virtue signalling.” Okay, then.
  • The Commons health committee will be studying marijuana legislation this week, a week before Parliament returns.
  • The federal government is signalling that they will be taking a fairly hands-off approach to the regulation of legal marijuana, leaving it to the provinces.
  • After five years and $10 million dollars, the Shared Services Canada gong show project of a unified email system appears to have stalled indefinitely.
  • While Canadian union leaders were in Mexico to have a presence at NAFTA talks, here’s a look at a Canadian auto plant in Mexico and how NAFTA works there.
  • As expected, a number of Canadian cities are putting together bids for a proposed second Amazon headquarters.

Odds and ends: