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Some internal discontent with NDP Communications Director

I noticed this morning over at Prog Blog a couple of pieces from NDP bloggers calling for the firing of Brad Lavigne, NDP Communications Director, for muddling the NDP message, specifically on Afghanistan. I guess the thought process is that claiming the reason the NDP message is muddled on Afghanistan is because “the media is pro-Liberal and pro-Conservatives, does not like the NDP, and has a tendency to mis-approximate the NDP’s message” didn’t exactly inspire confidence; not an unreasonable position to hold for an NDP grassroots supporter.

Northern BC Dipper also was critical of an attack on Dion:

I’d like to point some attention to that pathetic e-mail sent via the NDP e-mail list after Dion got elected. While there is plenty to attack Dion on, calling him an out of touch academic is not one of them, especially if your leader happens to be a political science professor himself. If something like the e-mail went out during an election campaign, it would be poisonous to the NDP campaign.

I’m more in line with the 2nd link I linked to: I’ve never really liked Lavigne since he got on CBC one night during the last election campaign and pooh-poohed the concept or usefulness of running blogs. I also met him briefly at the Liberal Convention in Montreal. Greg Staples of the Blogging Tory affiliate Political Staples introduced me to him while we were talking to Paul Wells of Macleans at one of the Iggy parties. Perhaps it was just me, but my impression of him and his attitude was he seemed totally dismissive of blogs and bloggers and really didnt understand the first thing about them.

Not a very good attitude from a guy for a party that likes to pride itself on being closest to the Canadian grassroots, when blogs are as grass-rootish as you can get and read by a lot of the grassroots in a lot of cases.

So, I’d have to say that the criticism that Lavigne and the NDP strategists have been receiving over these perceived communications muddles bears watching. Will it percolate up to the NDP hierarchy that there’s trouble brewing, or will they ignore it til its too late and not act til a potentially bad result in the next election forces their hand? As NBC Dipper says, “it is too late during the election”.

UPDATE: More discontent with Mr. Lavigne here


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