March 17, 2012

The Globe & Mail criticizes Ed Broadbent for still having opinions at his age

Filed under: Cancon, Media, Politics — Tags: , , — Nicholas Russon @ 11:22

A fascinating editorial at the Globe and Mail stops just short of telling Mr. Broadbent that his role as “elder statesman” of the NDP requires him to take on the political opinions of the royal family — that is, none expressed in public.

Ed Broadbent, by his withering attacks on NDP leadership front-runner Thomas Mulcair, has forfeited his role as elder statesman of the party in favour of that of a cranky partisan.

A widely respected figure well beyond the NDP membership, Mr. Broadbent took sides early in the campaign when he endorsed former party president Brian Topp, and this week he spoke of Mr. Topp’s abilities in rapturous language: “His depth, his intelligence, his commitment to the party, his strategic sense, his commitment to social democracy.”

[. . .]

No doubt Mr. Broadbent felt he had a responsibility to speak out. But whatever harm he has done to Mr. Mulcair — and it is unclear how much influence the former leader retains — there is as great a risk of aggravating divisions and harming the party’s ability to unite behind the new leader. That would be a sorry addendum to his legacy.

Or, in brief, “Can someone get grampaw Ed his medicine? He’s bothering the guests.”


  1. Ed Broadbent had the political acumen of a doofus. In 1979 he held the balance of power in a minority government. I can’t see how he thought that he could gain anything by having Joe Clark’s governing PCs punted, but his finance critic, Bob “Bare Ass” Rae was the genius that attached the rider to make the budget a non-confidence vote. (I don’t think that was necessary, but that is what Wiki says. I thought every money vote was a confidence vote). Anyway, the next election the NDP won 6 more seats (from 26 to 32) but handed the Liberals and Trudeau a majority, and we all know that Trudeau was an arrogant SOB who ignored everyone else’s opinions. Had Broadbent actually used his head he could have influenced the PC party, we all know Joe Clark was as red a tory as you can get without being a Liberal, but nope, we got PET and the new Charter of Rights and Serfdom instead. Yay Ed, moron.

    So, now as then, political acumen of a doofus.

    Comment by Dwayne — March 17, 2012 @ 15:52

  2. I am highly sympathetic to the Globe‘s notion that the job of the former leader (a.k.a. “elder statesman”) is to not throw grenades at the current (or prospective) leader.

    Sure, the man’s entitled to have an opinion, but once he’s retired out of the NDP’s leadership and parliamentary caucus, no one cares. And more importantly, regardless of how right or wrong the argument, an old man hollering at younger successor can sometimes present as an unholy combination of jealousy + elder rant. Things were better back in my day, and I was prettier, too.

    Better to let the party rank and file make its decisions based on current political reality and not be concerned with genuflecting to past icons. It’s not like the Tories would run the joint so much better if they constantly asked themselves “What would Mackenzie Bowell or Charles Tupper do?”

    Comment by Chris Taylor — March 18, 2012 @ 02:18

  3. I’m amused at a few tweets from Colby Cosh:

    Sure not hearing many people say ‘Ed’s wrong’

    I mean, yes, am hearing a lot of people say “Ed should pipe down”. Not a lot of “Why, I don’t even recognize the Mulcair of whom he speaks!”

    “Temperamental? Contemptuous of our party’s traditions? Difficult to work for? TOM MULCAIR, you say?”

    Comment by Nicholas — March 19, 2012 @ 10:34

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