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The Progressive Economics Forum

Linda McQuaig for Toronto Centre

For the “You Read It Here First” file, I wrote on Friday:

Toronto Centre needs a candidate with a track record of advancing more substantive and more progressive positions on economic issues. Specifically, the NDP should nominate someone who can take on Freeland regarding inequality and what to do about it.

Today, Linda McQuaig announced her candidacy for the NDP nomination for the upcoming federal by-election in Toronto Centre. She is no stranger to the Progressive Economics Forum, having made several appearances on this blog and having once helped adjudicate our student essay contest.

If vitriol on Twitter is a barometer, the Liberals regard her as the greatest threat to their candidate, Chrystia Freeland. The obvious contrast is between their most recent books on inequality.

I have not read Freeland’s book. But Jonathan Kay (from whom progressives might not expect much sympathy) observes, “McQuaig’s book has harder edges, wonkier content, and more specific policy prescriptions.”

She has also written many other books on several other important issues, including deficit phobia, globalization, energy and the environment.

The NDP’s Achilles Heel has long been an alleged lack of credibility on economic issues. BC was the latest example of the political right’s rhetorical focus on the economy derailing New Democrats. That election also illustrated how simply being cautious and not saying much about economic issues is an ineffective defence.

The NDP needs candidates who can confidently engage in economic policy debates. Nominating McQuaig would be a significant step forward on that front.

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from Scott Tribe
Time: August 6, 2013, 4:21 pm

I hadn’t realized the Liberals had picked “their candidate” in Toronto Centre yet Erin. As I keep telling you, there are three candidates in Toronto-Centre vieing for the Liberal nomination.

And there are “denials” all around that anyone has told anyone not to run.

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: August 7, 2013, 12:41 am

Linda will be a great addition to the NDP on the hill- she has an amazing mind- so glad she decided to run.

Comment from Purple Library Guy
Time: August 7, 2013, 12:34 pm

I love McQuaig’s style and I love her substance. I should buy more of her books. I’ve thought she was awesome ever since “Shooting the Hippo”, which is still highly relevant. I’d be very happy to see her an NDP MP, and if she makes it I hope she has an impact on how the NDP does politics.

Comment from Matt Fodor
Time: August 7, 2013, 4:48 pm

Linda McQuaig would give make a fantastic MP who hopefully won’t be too constrained by the centrist direction under Mulcair. And Erin is right that she has real credibility on economic issues from a left perspective. However basicall saying that McQuaig’s book is better than Freeland’s because Jon Kay said so is intellectually lazy in my opinion. However it is interesting that Kay – who to his credit has become concerned about inequality – said that McQuaig’s ideas weren’t really all that radical.

Comment from Arby
Time: August 17, 2013, 6:43 am

“The NDP’s Achilles Heel has long been an alleged lack of credibility on economic issues,” among those spouting rightwing propaganda and those swallowing it. The NDP is coming around. While Mulcair sucked and blew on free trade, I think it’s clear that if the NDP isn’t, by now, done with free trade deals that are worse than what calling them cookie cutter deals would indicate, then they are hopeless. Among the Left (not the Left of the center), the NDP’s achilles heel is that it has duplicated, not just jockeyed for second place with, the rightwing Liberals. And we know it.

Not all NDP are the same? No problem. Tell the principled factions to sever ties with the unprincipled factions. Then I’ll buy it.

Comment from mark
Time: August 26, 2013, 2:12 am

Another principled radical thinker set to be shut down by the NDP machine and Mulcair discipline.

Comment from Joe Smith
Time: September 4, 2013, 3:36 pm

Linda supports the FATCA which will have Canadian bank records of up to 1,000,000 Canadian citizens turned over to the IRS. Support her? I think not.

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