Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday's NDP web review

A couple of great NDP stories from this morning's quick review of the web ...

1) NDP nominates 40% women (so far): The folks who run the always thorough Pundit Guide are pointing to the fact that the NDP is now the only party to have passed the significant threshold of having 40% women candidates nominated for the next election (whenever St├ęphane Dion is ready to start behaving like an opposition leader that is).

The current standings are:
NDP = 40.1% women nominated
Liberals = 37.3% women nominated
Conservatives = 17.2% women nominated

As is demonstrated here, each election since its founding, the NDP has run the highest number of female candidates of any major political party.

2) Steelworkers endorse Obama-Layton '08: La Presse reports that at their North American conference this weekend, delegates of the United Steelworkers of America made a joint endorsement of Jack Layton for Canadian Prime Minister and Barack Obama as US President.

Makes sense. The two are already sharing messaging. Who else noticed that Obama borrowed Layton's slogan for his Unity, NH rally with Clinton?


Mark said...

How many NDP candidates have actually been democratically elected? You know, that weird phenomenon where more than one candidate puts their name on a ballot and is elected.

The Pundits' Guide said...

Mark raises an interesting point. While nomination meetings per se have to be reported to Elections Canada, candidate selections don't, nor do candidate appointments. Also, some parties are quite behind others in making these reports.

It occurred to me unfortunately too late in the design of my database model that it would be interesting to collect information on the nature of the "nomination", i.e., whether it came from a contested nomination, an acclamation, a naming by the party office, or an appointment by the party leader.

If we had that data we could compare after the fact the relative performance of candidates who had been appointed by a party leader vs. candidates going through at least some kind of nomination process.

The Conservative Party has the best record of reporting nomination meetings promptly to Elections Canada, in my recent anecdotal experience.

Another item I wish I'd tracked in retrospect is the resignation of candidates. It's funny because the original purpose of the Guide was to report in retrospect the results of elections and the values of any indicators that could be used to explain those results. It's only been in the unfolding of the site that its role in tracking nominations data has emerged to the extent it has.

Thanks to Blogging Horse for linking to the Pundits' Guide. I encourage your readers, from whatever party, to forward names of duly selected candidates (by whatever means) on to me for inclusion there.

Blogging Horse said...

Mark asked: How many NDP candidates have actually been democratically elected?

Unlike the Liberal Party, the NDP doesn't have a by-law expressly allowing the leader to appoint a candidate over local wishes, as happened in Outremont and Churchill River -- the two seats Liberals used to hold.

Every NDP nomination race is a contest unless no one else comes forward. Makes sense.

So what does it tell you when the Liberals allow local democracy to be overridden and still can't come up with as many women as the NDP?

northwestern_lad said...

Mark... something to add to what Blogging just said... the NDP not only doesn't have a process to appoint candidates, they usually don't hold nomination meetings until they get at least two candidates and the search for either a female/aboriginal/person of a visible minority to be candidate has been exhausted.

I ran for the NDP's federal nomination in Peterborough in 2007, and when I got into the race, there was only one candidate, so therefore a nomination meeting was not yet set. Shortly after I declared my candidacy, a meeting date was set as they had two candidates and the met their equity seeking mandate (i'm Metis). I know of many cases where nominations races have been delayed because they hadn't yet found other candidates or equity seeking candidates.

Malcolm+ said...

Northwestern Lad is generally correct.

The one principal exception where a nominating convention is likely to be held with only one candidate declared is in the case of an incumbent MP / MPP / MLA / MHA.

However, even there, there is nothing which precludes any member of the party in good standing from inititaing a contest, right up to the point of being niminated from the floor.

Several incumbent MPs / MPPs / MLAs / MHAs over the years have been challenged for nominations.

The NDP constitution(s), federally, provincially and territorially do not provide for the leader or anyoe else to appoint a candidate.

I am given to understand, however, that a practice has developed federally (and perhaps in some other provinces) for the federal council to appoint candidates in ridigs where there may not be a functioning riding association or membership. This would only occur after a general election has been called, in order to ensure there is a New Democrat on the ballot in every seat.