Next NDP leader needs to focus more on Hamilton, Mac prof says

News Apr 12, 2016 by Natalie Paddon The Hamilton Spectator

A McMaster political science professor says a new federal NDP leader needs to recultivate the party's support here in Hamilton.

Tom Mulcair — whose bid to remain leader of the federal New Democrats was rejected this weekend — should have done more to ramp up local "energy" for the party in the last election, when seats were lost in Hamilton, Niagara and across the country, according to Henry Jacek.

"Hamilton has a very strong NDP base," Jacek said. "Anybody who is the party leader really has to cultivate that base."

He pointed to a rally at the Sheraton Hotel attended by now-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Jean Chrétien in mid-September, which he called "terribly powerful."

While Mulcair visited Hamilton throughout the campaign, Jacek said it didn't have the same "dramatic impact."

If the NDP is not strongly backed in Hamilton, that can impact the party's success in surrounding areas like Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Cambridge and Mississauga, he said.

"Hamilton is sort of the anchor of the NDP here," he said. "If I was advising the next NDP leader, I'd say you really have to … get people excited here."

At the annual convention in Edmonton, 52 per cent of delegates cast their ballots in favour of a leadership race. Mulcair, who has led the party since 2012, will stay on as leader until his successor is chosen within 24 months.

Scott Duvall, who was elected as a New Democrat MP for Hamilton Mountain in October, stood behind Mulcair on stage as he spoke to the crowd after the votes came in.

"I supported Tom," Duvall said Monday night. "I always have, and I always will."

"He's been a great leader … He's shown a lot of courage in fighting the fight for people."

He called the results of the vote "a real surprise to many of us in the caucus," noting "everyone's kind of wondering what really happened."

That said, the vote of party membership has to be respected, he added.

"They thought it was time to have a change after the shocking last election," he said.

Duvall said it's too early to say who or what specifically he might be looking for in a new party leader.

"We're looking for somebody that is very strong, that has great leadership skills and goals of keeping with the party membership's values and their policies," he said.

Looking back, McMaster professor Jacek said he believes Mulcair should have raised more Hamilton-specific issues in the House of Commons, including putting added pressure on the government about U.S. Steel pensioners.

"There was never that emotion that this is a top issue for him," Jacek said. "I think he should've showed that Hamilton really did matter to him."

npaddon@thespec.com

905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

Next NDP leader needs to focus more on Hamilton, Mac prof says

News Apr 12, 2016 by Natalie Paddon The Hamilton Spectator

A McMaster political science professor says a new federal NDP leader needs to recultivate the party's support here in Hamilton.

Tom Mulcair — whose bid to remain leader of the federal New Democrats was rejected this weekend — should have done more to ramp up local "energy" for the party in the last election, when seats were lost in Hamilton, Niagara and across the country, according to Henry Jacek.

"Hamilton has a very strong NDP base," Jacek said. "Anybody who is the party leader really has to cultivate that base."

He pointed to a rally at the Sheraton Hotel attended by now-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Jean Chrétien in mid-September, which he called "terribly powerful."

While Mulcair visited Hamilton throughout the campaign, Jacek said it didn't have the same "dramatic impact."

If the NDP is not strongly backed in Hamilton, that can impact the party's success in surrounding areas like Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Cambridge and Mississauga, he said.

"Hamilton is sort of the anchor of the NDP here," he said. "If I was advising the next NDP leader, I'd say you really have to … get people excited here."

At the annual convention in Edmonton, 52 per cent of delegates cast their ballots in favour of a leadership race. Mulcair, who has led the party since 2012, will stay on as leader until his successor is chosen within 24 months.

Scott Duvall, who was elected as a New Democrat MP for Hamilton Mountain in October, stood behind Mulcair on stage as he spoke to the crowd after the votes came in.

"I supported Tom," Duvall said Monday night. "I always have, and I always will."

"He's been a great leader … He's shown a lot of courage in fighting the fight for people."

He called the results of the vote "a real surprise to many of us in the caucus," noting "everyone's kind of wondering what really happened."

That said, the vote of party membership has to be respected, he added.

"They thought it was time to have a change after the shocking last election," he said.

Duvall said it's too early to say who or what specifically he might be looking for in a new party leader.

"We're looking for somebody that is very strong, that has great leadership skills and goals of keeping with the party membership's values and their policies," he said.

Looking back, McMaster professor Jacek said he believes Mulcair should have raised more Hamilton-specific issues in the House of Commons, including putting added pressure on the government about U.S. Steel pensioners.

"There was never that emotion that this is a top issue for him," Jacek said. "I think he should've showed that Hamilton really did matter to him."

npaddon@thespec.com

905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec

Next NDP leader needs to focus more on Hamilton, Mac prof says

News Apr 12, 2016 by Natalie Paddon The Hamilton Spectator

A McMaster political science professor says a new federal NDP leader needs to recultivate the party's support here in Hamilton.

Tom Mulcair — whose bid to remain leader of the federal New Democrats was rejected this weekend — should have done more to ramp up local "energy" for the party in the last election, when seats were lost in Hamilton, Niagara and across the country, according to Henry Jacek.

"Hamilton has a very strong NDP base," Jacek said. "Anybody who is the party leader really has to cultivate that base."

He pointed to a rally at the Sheraton Hotel attended by now-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Jean Chrétien in mid-September, which he called "terribly powerful."

While Mulcair visited Hamilton throughout the campaign, Jacek said it didn't have the same "dramatic impact."

If the NDP is not strongly backed in Hamilton, that can impact the party's success in surrounding areas like Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, Cambridge and Mississauga, he said.

"Hamilton is sort of the anchor of the NDP here," he said. "If I was advising the next NDP leader, I'd say you really have to … get people excited here."

At the annual convention in Edmonton, 52 per cent of delegates cast their ballots in favour of a leadership race. Mulcair, who has led the party since 2012, will stay on as leader until his successor is chosen within 24 months.

Scott Duvall, who was elected as a New Democrat MP for Hamilton Mountain in October, stood behind Mulcair on stage as he spoke to the crowd after the votes came in.

"I supported Tom," Duvall said Monday night. "I always have, and I always will."

"He's been a great leader … He's shown a lot of courage in fighting the fight for people."

He called the results of the vote "a real surprise to many of us in the caucus," noting "everyone's kind of wondering what really happened."

That said, the vote of party membership has to be respected, he added.

"They thought it was time to have a change after the shocking last election," he said.

Duvall said it's too early to say who or what specifically he might be looking for in a new party leader.

"We're looking for somebody that is very strong, that has great leadership skills and goals of keeping with the party membership's values and their policies," he said.

Looking back, McMaster professor Jacek said he believes Mulcair should have raised more Hamilton-specific issues in the House of Commons, including putting added pressure on the government about U.S. Steel pensioners.

"There was never that emotion that this is a top issue for him," Jacek said. "I think he should've showed that Hamilton really did matter to him."

npaddon@thespec.com

905-526-2420 | @NatatTheSpec