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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Newmarket-Aurora, the NDP sham continues v2011

I’ve often said that strategic voting is a mistake; I’ve also stated that no vote is ever wasted. I was wrong.

I still believe that people should vote their conscience even if there is no chance of winning but what I cannot condone is voting for a candidate that simply does not try.

In 2008 I blogged about the NDP and their local sham campaign and while I did hear a little second hand outrage about the post after the fact it does not seem to have to inspired them to do better.
The fact that this post is the top google result for the search "NDP Newmarket-Aurora" shows how quiet and ineffective the local party is.

This year's election is not much different, Kassandra Bidarian the NDP Candidate is not campaigning, there are no signs, no web site, no twitter account and only the slightest mention on her Facebook page that she’s even running. Last election the NDP had a late nomination but did eventually get some activity going, this time they’ve had a candidate for some time but she’s just not trying.

Errata, when I first checked web site was basically a place holder, its now a functioning site
I totaly missed the facebook page because Vote KB for NDP was not personalize enough to be caught in the search I did, I'd respectfully suggest she use her full name for visability.

I don’t even blame Kassandra, It’s the party and its disrespect for local voters that so angers me. IF you cannot find a truly local candidate (she currently lives in Toronto), someone who is willing to put some effort into the campaign and someone who can invigorate your local base you should not be running a Candidate.

A vote for someone who doesn’t try, someone whose own party lacks the confidece in them to run a real campaign is truly a wasted vote

I wasn’t planning to make this an issue again but people are asking me “where the hell are the NDP?” Apparently contempt for voters is also a local issue.

added after original posting

James Morton shows us that you can respect your opponent if they really try

.Recommend this Post


Kassandra Bidarian said...


I am Kassandra Bidarian and I am glad to see that you are politically concerned. First I want to address the fact of my residency in Toronto. I live in Toronto during my time at the University of Toronto, St.George Campus because I am doing a Specialist in Philosophy and a Minor in Political Science. Other than that, I am in Aurora but did live in Newmarket prior to Aurora.

Signs will be put up as soon as possible and there is a Facebook page called "Vote KB for NDP".

As well, there is a website: http://www.kassandrabidarian.ndp.ca/.

You can also contact me personally through email, phone, or Facebook as I have been responding to each and every one of my constituents.

I will also be appearing on the Roger's Candidates Debate on April 19 from 3:30-4:30, which will be airing live.

I do pay attention to the people and their concerns, or else I would not be responding to your post, so please feel free to contact me.

Best Regards,

Kassandra Bidarian

Canadian silver bug/Green Assassin Brigade said...

Good to see your awake, but just like Mike's last campaign starting nearly 3 weeks in is not a sign of someone actually trying or a sign of someone ready for prime time. There's even a supporter on your own fb site commenting on your lack of effort/pressence.

I also notice that your bio was only added today, coincidence??

Linn said...

People accuse the Greens of splitting votes yet never complain when Jack pretends to run a campaign that only diverts votes away from someone who might beat the conservative.
We need a pre election deal ala Dion/May. Divy up all the ridings for one election with an agreement to bring in PR. Not talk about it, just implement it.
All we need to do is get the libs to believe in PR and get Jack of his high hourse about deals. If he openly allows pretend campaigns why not just pull 30-40 candidates in places it makes a difference.
Of course everyone else would also have to make similar sacrifices, the Greens would have to pull at least 100 ridings to get in on the deal but it would be worth it.

Kassandra Bidarian said...

To: Canadian silver bug/Green Assassin Brigade

Being a student, a worker, and running for Member of Parliament, I hardly sleep.

My bio was not added today but only adjusted not by me, nor by someone who viewed your site so please stop skewing and misleading facts like other parties tend to do.

Furthermore, the person you are referring to did not comment on my "lack of effort", but stated that there needs to be more of a presence. I completely agree.

This is why signs will be put up by this weekend. Signs have nothing to do with lack of effort. We were able to obtain the signs as early as possible with the resources and abilities provided.

We accomplished obtaining the signs as soon as they were readily available and that is because of the effort put in, not the lack of as you stated.

There was nothing anybody could have done to obtain them sooner and I want that to be clear.



Mina said...

I am shocked and appalled that the Green Party, of all parties is concerned with the putting up of signs. Signs take energy to create, are made up of fossil fuels, and require more energy to recycle. You need to practice what you preach Green Party.

This is even stated by your own candidate in Sudbury running for the Green Party. She also states that Green Party shouldn't be using signs at all! The Green Party wants to cut back on fossil fuel use, the stuff signs are made up of. So it is shocking that you are concerned that there should be MORE signs up!

Canadian silver bug/Green Assassin Brigade said...


Your scenario is pie in the sky and could fuel a dozen blog posts, if I had the time.

Liberals generally prefer the existing system because they'd rather go for the brass ring and have absolute power rather than cooperate. C Bennet is one of the few exceptions in the LPC that believe in PR. Ask other liberals and they will balk or claim AV is the best choice because in truth, its not really proportional but centralizes power with the two main parties.

The NDP,, no Jack Layton claims such no compete deals are anti democratic as he raved about in the Central Nova case; what the rank and file believes I don't know, perhaps Kassandra can give us some insight.?? Would the Average NDP supporter give up a vote today for PR tomorrow.

I would guess no considering that in BC Liberal Briony Penn could have beat Gary Lunn if 3600 odd NDPers did not vote for a candidate that resigned before the vote. You have to admit its pretty hard core and petty to vote for a disgraced/dropped candidate rather than beat the real enemy.

The system is already broken and anti democratic, the choice is live with it or break it in order to fix it. I don't know if any party is that frustrated with the status quo yet. I don't know that the breaking point will be, the 4th-5th-6th Conservative government? When someone wins a seat with 21% support? If the seat count gives a majority when the % popular vote goes to a different party

I think the system will not change until its proven far more defective than it is now.. We know its broken but it has to be so broken the average person get angry, and we are an overly passive folk.

Also as we've seen in Provincial politics the NDP has not pushed PR when they are in power.

The Reformers and Harper once believed in PR but no more.

Dion was a supporter of MMP but his party was not.

Greens support in NOW, but would they still support if it a magical majority came around tomorrow? I don't know, I hope so, I for one would quit the party if they dropped this issue, I know others would too.

Larry Gordon of Fair Vote Canada once told us a story that PET offered Ed Broadbent a deal of NDP support for PR. Ed could not sell it to his own Caucus as PR would probably have meant some of them would loose their seats as they would be obligated to give some seats to regions that traditionally did not elect NDP MPs.

Also Linn, while I tagged Kassandra with this issue and I hear its very similar for them in Barrie, I dislike this in all parties.

There are Liberals in Alberta that don't earn their votes, there are Cons in Downtown Toronto that don't earn their votes and quite a few Greens who don't even have an EDA to back them up who don't earn their votes. Yes its about brand recognition and the voter subsidy money but its equally disrespectful when we do it.

I'd give a new party or an indy some slack on this issue, after all its not a cheap proposition or without considerable time commitment. But parties with a real organizations , especially those with EDAs in tact should be up and running in 7-10 days. In some EDA's we have the same failing.

Ridings without EDAs,(and I belive all parties have at least some of these) are also an issue. If you can't support a 2 or 3 person EDA, you cannot possibly do enough to earn your vote.

Canadian silver bug/Green Assassin Brigade said...

Kassandra, I'm mostly yanking your chain, no one else of note has answered one of my bitchy posts and its good for traffic.

If its taken 3 weeks for signs just ask next time and someone will recommend a reliable source. Art, printing, shipping should take no more than 10 days. 3 weeks is an unreasonable delay, don't accept bad service.

(Of course Dorian has the advantage on all of us by using 12 year old signs. Simply by attrition you'd think he be out by now.)

I do think candidates should be active all year not just for the 6 weeks an election cycle. I've ranted about this before. Not only do candidates need to know what their riding is thinking and doing but the riding needs to know who the candidates are and what they are about on a personal level, this does not happen in 6 weeks, even less when a brand is not the predominate 1 or 2 brands.

Yes, its an extreme commitment to ask from a candidate but it is what's needed to do it well.

The MP has the advantage of constant exposure and a Candidate cannot expect to neutralize that advantage in a few weeks or rely on their leader to win the riding for them, and leaders don't seem to find our riding worth visiting

As much as Dorian is a comic/tragic figure, people know who he is and that has value. If he was in a large party he might get considerable support or, shudder, win on name recognition alone.

I think the only way to put this riding into play is a strong 4 way split. Greens and NDP both need up our games.

Good luck

Ps. no talking points but what is your number one ignored issue, one that even Jack is not mentioning?

I see it as peak oil and our societies/governments unwillingness to discuss how an economy can maintain endless growth in an era depleting resources

Canadian silver bug/Green Assassin Brigade said...


I believe greens have offered to run sign free campaigns before if everyone would, going solo of course would be suicide.

Ideally networks should be forced to supply free tv time, have a lot more inclusive debates, local and nationally and stop as much of the paper waste as possible it makes sense. Without those conditions going paperless would actually hurt Greens, NDP and indies more than the big 2 because Con/Lib Tv budgets would further isolate and marginalize smaller parties.

No signs for greens is like saying that Conservative because they claim to be "fiscal conservatives" should spend no money on electioneering , its ludicrous to even propose it,

I suppose all Liberal and NDP swag and printing is done in Canada with union labour? Probably not and checking on it in each EDA would be a level of nit picking even I would not stoop to.

Jack has often said the environment is an NDP issue and he has a better platform than Greens, would they go paperless with us?

We all know the cons would advertise on burning tires if they could find someone who'd sell them.

Where possible we use local, pay more for safer waterless printing, avoid as much crappy swag as we can, and buy organic/fair trade clothes. Are we perfect, hell no.

Unless we lived in mud huts ate bark and campaigned by semaphore we will always have impact, but no where in our agenda are we asking anyone to live that frugally, just better that today's norm.

The issue here was not the signs as such but the perception that the lack of signs or other visible campaigning created. Elections are often far more perception that detail, what do you think a Conservative volunteer says 2 or 3 weeks in when someone at the door asks. "I've not seen the NDP/GREEN/LIB doing much, what's up with that?"

Canadian silver bug/Green Assassin Brigade said...

actually Baxters signs are only 8 years old, its seems much longer

In other news we have a new contender for Newmarket-Aurora

Yvonne Mackie, for the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada.
What every you don't wear leather to the debates, it could get ugly.

The CHP is not running, which is actually a bad thing, with a good candidate they might actually steal a few hundred votes from Lois. With last election's candidate they only generated a lot of uncomfortable people and a more than a few cringe worthy moments at debate.

Sudbury Steve said...

Save your moral outrage, Mina, and get your facts straight too while you're at it: the Sudbury Green Party candidate, Fred Twilley, is making use of signs (although most are recycled from the past federal election).

I suspect that Mina might have erroneously been referring to the Green Party's campaign in Nickel Belt, whose candidate is Christine Guillot-Proulx. Christine has said that she won't be participating in the "sign war" in Nickel Belt. This doesn't mean that Christine isn't putting up signs. The "sign war" reference has everything to do with a hotly contested battleground where NDP adn Liberal signs go manno-a-manno up and down the rural highways of Nickel Belt. When I referred to "visual clutter" earlier, I was definetly thinking of Nickel Belt (even though there are by-laws in parts of this large riding...seems that there are a higher number of politically engaged homeowners than most other parts of Canada).

But Christine's campaign is still erecting the occassional sign when requested by supporters. I know, because I've been out putting them up. We're using generic Green Party signs, left over from 2008.

I fear Christine's chances, however, are going to be impaired by the lack of visual references in this sprawling riding. Given that the Liberals and NDP will likely be pouring the campaign maximum into taking Nickel Belt, versus Christine's budget of less than $1,500, I can't help but be curious what the ultimate per-vote costs are going to be.

If Greens like Christine actually had a way for their would-be constituents to hear them, clearly the need for signs wouldn't be there. With the media offering little opportunity for public engagement (and fewer now that so many candidates from other parties are saying no to debates), getting noticed continues to take a lot of effort.

If you really want to have a conversation about environmental street cred amongst the parties, I'll be ready and waiting, Mina, to have that kind of discussion with you.

In the meantime, the Green Party will try to elect MP's in Ottawa so that our national government can finally start taking action to do something about the climate crisis. Greens know that all of the little things we do to reduce our carbon footprints are important, but ultimately they don't amount to a hill of beans if our governments refuse to do anything.

Steve May
Sudbury, Ontario

Sudbury Steve said...

Hmmm...not sure where the first part of my post ended up...I had waxed eloquently about my own moral indignation over other party's accusing Greens of not being "green" enough, and suggested that this was just nonsense in any context, and a tactic of deflecting those who might otherwise be inclined to support the Party.

GAB said...

I admit Greens have weak ridings too but when Jack claims the NDP are ready to rule or at least take second place and yet you have ridings like Ajax where the Candidtate has been on vacation and out of country up until this weekend there is a problem.

Also we've just heard that the Vaughan candidate has been reported AOL by local media and cannot be contacted by phone or email, this is the same riding where during the Fantino by-election the NDP candiate caved during the debate and endorsed the GREEN. Add a couple other regional ridings like Barrie and Newmarket-Aurora where presence "to date" is sub optimal and I begin to think there is a systemic problem in 905 and perhaps 705.
Has the NDP directed too many resources in an attempt to achieve their hoped Quebec breakthought or is some demographic change slowly eating away at their organizationin this region.

Its all speculation at this point but its certainly worth watching.

Like I said before we have weak regions too but we simply want a voice and time to grow, we don't claim we are able to form a government in election 41. The NDP make this claim but it looks unsuported

farnandas said...

Before we have weak region so we have to use Vacation Accrual