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Callan's Graphics and Things

Callan

Normalise Your Mum
Published by SLP
Location
Toronto
In today's edition of "look how much AH potential you find when you look beyond Wikipedia", I've been reading Under siege: the federal NDP in the nineties by Ian Mcleod (not that one). The near-death experience of the NDP in the early 1990s was down to a lot of external factors: the constitutional reform debacles[1], the burning desire to get rid of Mulroney at all costs, the rise of Reform and massively unpopular NDP governments in two of Canada's largest provinces But I don't think their depths were inevitable, and the PoD to avoid that goes a bit beyond "Dave Barrett wins".

I've seen quite a few lists which go along the lines of "NDP comes second in '88, crashes and burns five years later anyway" and I really don't see that as inevitably. The NDP's underperformance in that election- down to organisational and ideological drift within the party, a lacklustre campaign[2] by Broadbent and a strategy that never knew what to do about the resurgent Liberals- left a lot of bad blood within the party, with Broadbent seen to have blown their chance at a breakthrough. The 1989 leadership election was conducted in a deeply pessimistic atmosphere, with most assuming that the imminent takeover of the Liberal Party by Chretien was going to blow them away. As such, the field in that leadership election was extremely weak, with pretty much every big name in the party bowing out of the contest in the midst of a bleak and uncertain future for the party. If the NDP had made it into the official opposition it's hard to see the bad blood that saw Broadbent quickly bow out, let alone the sort of pessimistic culture that sees all the big names decline.

It speaks to the limits of research that even many TLs and lists with PoDs from way before the late eighties are beholden to the list of middle-tier candidates who actually ran. A poll of delegates at the 1988 NDP convention asked them for their choices for the leadership, and they came up with Robert White, Marion Dewar, Nelson Riis, Lorne Nystrom and Alexa McDonough (!) and Ed Schreyer.

Bob Rae even nearly ran, and he would've had strong backing from unions across the country had he done so, but didn't due to doubts about his ability to win over Western delegates. Of course the Rae Ministry is very easily butterfliable, and that has massive consequences on the future of the NDP both in outside the province if the Ontario party doesn't immolate itself and take so many of its links to the extra-parliamentary left with it. And without the Rae Ministry you to a large extend butterfly away Mike Harris and his Common Sense Revolution and his numerous acolytes who populated Stephen Harper's cabinet and most of the Ontario PCs.

Onto the candidates who did run, Dave Barrett is presented in lists and TLs as a guy who could've avoided the extend of the 1993 distaster. Maybe. He was a talented orator old-school left-wing populism was definitely more in tune with the way the country was going than whatever McLaughlin was doing. But Barrett was also Not Very Good. His campaign was highly disorganised and unpredictable, "he would barge into a meeting,seize control, and share whatever master plan had come to him in the shower or the elevator". The reason why not that much is known about his campaign is in large part because he wouldn't write anything down.

McLaughlin herself can basically be summarised as "well meaning but out of her depth". It's quite telling that even a lot of literature about the NDP in the early nineties writes of the leader as an inert, secondary figure. She was briefly a media darling after she became leader and then completely faded from view, and even many in her party and in her employ struggled to define what exactly her political agenda actually was. She had few allies and the party organisation was dysfunctional . Marian Dewar is quoted as saying that the party "threw her to the wolves", and was hounded by misogyny from the media and within the male-dominated party hierarchy, an experience compared to Kim Campbell's shafting by the remains of the PC machinery,. McLaughin was elected due to her lack of experience and political baggage, and ran the party as a facilitator without a clear or extensive political project of her own.

The rest of the party deserves blame too of course. Until Layton the Federal NDP was highly decentralised, mostly governed by a series of committees and councils, the caucus and frontbench having way more autonomy than most parties. Until the mid-2000s, the party machinery beyond the Leader's Office was effectively run and funded by their provincial counterparts, which meant the Federal Party as a whole was always beholden to provincial concerns and parties that were often disinterested in helping out federally at all. I think a microcosm of the NDP's problems was when McLaughin was humiliated by a caucus revolt in 1992 over her criticism of the generous pension plans given to Federal MPs. "The MPs, having engineered a state of disorganisation in the caucus, failed to act on an important problem; the leader took unilateral action; the MPs reacted and then forgot the issue,without addressing the underlying problems. On the issue itself, they proved themselves to be out of tune with a public mood that was ready to rise up and destroy them."

So maybe it was inevitable. Historically, political parties everywhere have to go through repeated humiliations before they're able and willing to properly modernise and change. Jack Layton didn't happen in a vacuum.

[1] The NDP managed to get some of the more right-wing provisions of the proposed constitution but ended up supporting the massively unpopular Charlottetown Accords, which to many voters confirmed them as another brick in the wall. The NDP talked quite a bit about wanting to put some kind of EU-like "social charter" into the constitution to guarantee a welfare state, but it's clear that no-one in the NDP properly understood how the EEC's Social Charter worked either in theory or in practice.

[2] In the mid-1980s, the NDP believed themselves to be on the verge of a breakthrough in Quebec. The PQ had shown the potential for a social democratic base in the province but had tarnished their left wing creds and union links by the time of their defeat. The party worked Quebec hard as some of it's unions took a second look at party who had just elected an energetic provincial leader. Broadbent himself hired several Quebecois as aides who worked hard to recruit talent in the region. A lot of this became undone by the PQ's decision to back NAFTA, which confused the union within the province and created a Quebec-Anglo Canada divide in the labour movement as a whole., and got into a fatal muddle over the party's position on Quebec's language laws. The party blew their chance for a breakthrough in the province.#

But a real PoD for this would be their 1987 Federal Convention, held in Quebec, got them unprecedented exposure within the province, but the coverage of which was washed out by a strike by CBC technicians.
 
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Oppo

Erik Ƭ̵̬̊
Pronouns
he/him
A Governor-General going on to become Prime Minister would be quite interesting. Schreyer would certainly help things out west - though the image of him and Chrétien as figures from the 1960s and 1970s would certainly play into Kim Campbell’s hands.

On another note, even McLaughlin’s NDP polled ahead of the Liberals in October 1990 over the GST filibuster. At several points between 1988 and 1993, it really looked like the Liberals were going to suffer a third landslide defeat. In another timeline, the thought of PM Chrétien in 1993 would be laughed off.
 

Callan

Normalise Your Mum
Published by SLP
Location
Toronto
Suchet as the successor to Dhawan does feel like Very Doctor Who Logic, although in OTL after Capaldi and Whittaker I think there's a decent chance that the show decides the future is A Quirky Guy In His Early Thirties Stamping On A Human Face - Forever
OTL: Yeah, that's way too likely an outcome. I've sometimes wondered if Whittaker's successor might end up being a sort of McCoy figure; an eventual return to form, but way too late in the game.

ITTL: Suchet's selection came after the big success of Dhawan, where the showrunners Margot Wood and Arthur Devenish decided the only way to follow in his footsteps is to go in a rapidly different direction: and older Doctor, who by Tales of the Satellite has already lived out most of his incarnation, and his one-season arc of trying to gain redemption and the universe's trust for his incarnation's off-screen crimes. Tragically dying at the moment of redemption, he can't make it to the promised land but his companions can. All very experimental.

The fandom is split, and as always wants their comfort zone back. They are currently rejoicing at the news that Wood and Devenish have been canned by the Beeb.

(co-credit to @Beata Beatrix. Someone stop us)
 
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Callan

Normalise Your Mum
Published by SLP
Location
Toronto
Commonwealth General Election, 2013:

Radicals – 328 seats (+57)38.7% (+6.6)
- Labour Party - 1 seat (±0), 0.4% (+0.1)
Unionist – 224 seats (-44) 25.4% (-7.5)
Unionist (GB) - 205 seats (-41) 21.9% (-6.8)​
UUP - 8 seats, (-1), 0.8 % (±0)​
Irish Reform - 10 seats, (-2), 2.4% (-0.7)​
Nationals (Malta) - 1 seat, (±0), 0.3% (±0)​
Ecumene - 47 seats* (-21), 10.9% (-1.9)
Sinn Fein - 28 seats (+3), 4.5% (-0.3)
Centre – 26 seats (+11), 8.2% (+1.8)
Democratic Left - 5 seats (+1), 4.2% (+0.2)
Scottish Freedom – 4 seats (±0), 1.2% (-0.2)
Ecology - 4 seats (-2), 4.5% (-0.2)
Mudiad Cymreig – 1 seat (±0), 0.6% (±0.0)
Together in Europe - 0 seats (-1) 0.5% (+0.1)
 
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Callan

Normalise Your Mum
Published by SLP
Location
Toronto
Unionist Leadership Election 2013.png

The 2013 Unionist Party leadership election was called by party leader Leo Gardner for 12 April 2013, after he announced that he was resigning as leader of the party. He remained as Prime Minister until after the 2013 general election.

The ballot took place after protracted negotiations between the government and opposition parties over the 2013 budget and a motion of no confidence called by Leader of the Opposition Helen Kendrick, who called for the motion after Attorney General Mel Jackson was forced to resign over alleged leaks from the Ministry of Justice regarding witnesses and experts testifying at the Davenport Inquiry. In exchange for passing the budget and the Radical and Ecumene Parties dropping their respective votes of no confidence in the midst of a stock market crash (which came to be known as the Panic of 2013), Gardner agreed to immediately request President Ellen Clay to dissolve Parliament. His resignation as leader caused shock across Westminster, and was widely believed to be a means of quelling an imminent cabinet revolt and securing the budget deal.

Most Unionist figures who were expected to stand to succeed Gardner declined to stand, and the only candidates who eventually stood were Chancellor of the Exchequer George Mantel and prominent backbencher Reg Thackeray. Mantel, aged 70, had come to be seen as an elder statesman and was widely perceived to be a sacrificial lamb by the party leadership, given the extent of the government's unpopularity. Thackeray's strong performance was seen as an upset, especially given Thackeray's long history of disloyalty to the party leadership and objections to the Caro Ministry's liberal direction.

Mantel went onto lead the Unionist Party to a heavy defeat, becoming only the third leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party to never become Prime Minister.

Unionist Leadership Election 2014.png

The 2014 Unionist Party leadership election was held from 10 November to the 17 November 2014 to find a successor to George Mantel following his resignation.

Informal campaigning for the leadership began shortly after the Unionists' general election defeat the previous year, as few expected the elderly Mantel to lead the party into the next election. The leadership election was noted as being especially dramatic, with the last-minute candidacy of former Prime Minister and Shadow Foreign Secretary Leo Gardner upsetting the dynamics of the race. In spite his divisive image within the party and his considerable unpopularity outside of it, Gardner still retained a strong constituency within the party and was immediately considered to be one of the frontrunners. His main challenger was former Defence Secretary Liz Wolmar, who stood on a platform of "clear blue water", moving away from the centre ground and more forcefully opposing the Kendrick Government's social reforms, most notably their attempts to formally abolish the death penalty. Shadow Health Secretary Isaac Posner and Upper Bann MP Peter Sullivan were widely considered to be also-rans.

However, Garnder's campaign was rocked by the publication of the memoirs of former Deputy Prime Minister Agnes White, who amongst many other allegations of personal misconduct accused Gardner of having racially abused then-Defence Secretary Ajay Mittal into not standing against him for the party leadership following Thomas Caro's resignation in 2006. Gardner's threats of litigation did little to quell the adverse publicity, and he abruptly withdrew from the leadership race on November 13th, alleging that the publication was timed by his former deputy to destroy his campaign in favour of her favoured candidate, Liz Wolmar.

However she was unable to capitalise on the shock withdrawl, with many MPs unimpressed with her disorganised campaign and potential divisiveness of her leadership. Garnder publicly threw his weight behind previous also-ran Isaac Posner, who quickly gained momentum in the final days of the contest and upset Wolmar to the leadership. Isaac Posner served as Unionist leader until his party's defeat in the 2017 general election; Peter Sullivan and Liz Wolmar were both appointed to his shadow cabinet. Gardner announced shortly after Posner's victory that he would be leaving politics and resigning his seat of Sevenoaks.
 
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Callan

Normalise Your Mum
Published by SLP
Location
Toronto
Commonwealth General Election, 2013:

Radicals – 328 seats (+57)38.7% (+6.6)
- Labour Party - 1 seat (±0), 0.4% (+0.1)
Unionist – 224 seats (-44) 25.4% (-7.5)
Unionist (GB) - 205 seats (-41) 21.9% (-6.8)​
UUP - 8 seats, (-1), 0.8 % (±0)​
Irish Reform - 10 seats, (-2), 2.4% (-0.7)​
Nationals (Malta) - 1 seat, (±0), 0.3% (±0)​
Ecumene - 47 seats* (-21), 10.9% (-1.9)
Sinn Fein - 28 seats (+3), 4.5% (-0.3)
Centre – 26 seats (+11), 8.2% (+1.8)
Democratic Left - 5 seats (+1), 4.2% (+0.2)
Scottish Freedom – 4 seats (±0), 1.2% (-0.2)
Ecology - 4 seats (-2), 4.5% (-0.2)
Mudiad Cymreig – 1 seat (±0), 0.6% (±0.0)
Together in Europe - 0 seats (-1) 0.5% (+0.1)

Commonwealth General Election, 2017:

Radicals – 325 seats (-3), 37.7% (-1.0)
- Labour Party - 1 seat (±0), 0.3% (-0.1)
Unionist – 217 seats (-7), 24.9% (-0.5)
Unionist (GB) - 198 seats (-7), 21.2% (-0.7)​
UUP - 9 seats, (+1), 0.9 % (+0.1)​
Irish Reform - 9 seats, (-1), 2.5% (+0.1)​
Nationals (Malta) - 1 seat, (±0), 0.3% (±0)​
Ecumene - 54 seats* (+7), 11.2% (+0.3)
Sinn Fein - 34 seats (+6), 4.2% (-0.3)
Centre – 19 seats (-7), 8.6% (+0.1)
Democratic Left - 8 seats (+3), 5.4% (+1.2)
Scottish Freedom – 5 seats (+1), 1.0% (-0.2)
Ecology - 4 seats (±0), 4.3% (-0.2)
Mudiad Cymreig – 2 seats (+1), 0.6% (±0.0)

*Ecumene figure includes 4 "Independent Populists" who took the Ecumene Whip.
 
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Callan

Normalise Your Mum
Published by SLP
Location
Toronto
From The Canadian Federal Election of 2015:

“The companion ad featured [Stephen] Harper calmly, competently working at his desk late into the evening, dealing with the many complex economic and security issues faced by a prime minister. It closed with a reference to the Conservatives’ preferred ballot question about leadership: “Stephen Harper: Proven Leadership.” In an unintended foreshadowing of the election night results, the final frames feature Harper leaving the prime minister’s office and shutting off the lights as he exits.”
 

Beata Beatrix

Yossarian Lives
Pronouns
she/her/hers
From The Canadian Federal Election of 2015:

“The companion ad featured [Stephen] Harper calmly, competently working at his desk late into the evening, dealing with the many complex economic and security issues faced by a prime minister. It closed with a reference to the Conservatives’ preferred ballot question about leadership: “Stephen Harper: Proven Leadership.” In an unintended foreshadowing of the election night results, the final frames feature Harper leaving the prime minister’s office and shutting off the lights as he exits.”
'Harper 2015: Just Let Him Go Home'