Monday, October 26, 2015

Thomas Mulcair is Only a Symptom of a Much Bigger Problem for the NDP

"The party got off to a bad start with its election promise to balance the budget without raising taxes. That promise, difficult to honour during a period of general economic turmoil, would seriously limit its policy options."
That quote, though fitting, was not about the last federal election, but was written about the Nova Scotia NDP,  that got trounced after just one mandate.  The author, Howard Epstein,  was a long serving NDP MLA who wrote the book:  Hope betrayed? The Nova Scotia NDP's rocky fall from power.

Epstein asks:  "If the NDP can't differentiate itself from other parties, should it exist?"

That is a very good question.  Federally, they are now back to third party status, in a Liberal majority, with a progressive platform; what will their role be?  How can they possibly hope to rebuild when they have nothing to rebuild on?

Their appointment of the right-wing Thomas Mulcair as leader, and their disastrous election campaign, has left them rudderless.

Social activist Michael Laxer, on his The Left Chapter blog, also puts much of the blame on the NDP themselves, but sees their refusal to take responsibility as a major hindrance.  They can't accept that they did anything wrong, but instead call for blind devotion and solidarity.

Solidarity that will be hard to achieve, when the true believers; the activists who coalesced around the NDP, have, as Laxer points out; already left.  Or truthfully, were banished.

Covering the NDP leadership convention, John Ibbitson wrote:
Make no mistake about the importance of what happened in Toronto last weekend: Tens of thousands of New Democrats rebelled against the party establishment – a cabal of union leaders, academics, journalists and party apparatchiks – to elect an outsider. 
They did it, in the words of one NDP supporter who was at the convention, because they no longer wanted to be led by “a comfy sweater.” Mr. Mulcair and Brian Topp, who finished second, were both seen as bare-knuckle politicians who could take on the Conservatives and win.
They forgot that it was the "cabal of union leaders, academics, journalists and party apparatchiks" who helped to build the NDP.

Another social activist and NDP team builder, Murray Dobbin, wrote of Mulcair's leadership victory:
"Facing a ruthless tough guy? Get your own ruthless tough guy. And possibly create a monster you can't control. It is as if policy, philosophy, and vision for the country have simply been devalued to the point where they are an afterthought or some vaguely interesting historical relic."
They are no longer facing a "ruthless tough guy" so do they really need Mulcair now?  Not that it really matters, because without their activist base, who are they?

Those activists can now work with Justin Trudeau, to build the kind of Canada that we want to live in, since the NDP are no longer in a position to do much of anything.

And as CTV points out, there is still the matter of the 2.7 million dollars owed by current and defeated MPs, and with no money to fight the decision in court, this could very well spell the end of the NDP.

Even a petition to demand the resignation of Mulcair, is getting very little traction.  It's like they no longer care.  Why should they?

The emphasis will be on the Liberals and Justin Trudeau as they work to repair the damage done by the Harper government.

And with Trudeau, all comfy sweaters are welcome.


  1. Finally Emily you have the Messiah you wanted pity it came with your denigration of the NDP.

    I can hardly wait for your next column where you trumpet the total irrelevence of the NDP and urge the survivors to get real and join with the true believers - the Liberals.

    Not going to happen!

    1. The entire NDP campaign was about denigrating the Liberals, especially Justin Trudeau. This is why I use quotes from NDP stalwarts who wonder what the party is thinking.

  2. Cage your triumphalism, Emily. I think you would enjoy reading this piece from Jeet Heer in The New Republic. It suggests that the NDP may have sown the seeds of their own destruction.

  3. Interesting analysis/piece Emily. For sure the NDP need to hole up for a weekend. Not to figure out why they lost but where they see Canada going forward and how they will go about getting there

  4. Having voted NDP in the last election - in order to "Teach The Liberals a lesson", here in Quebec - know I'm thrilled and relieved to see the NDP lose this time around. Thomas Mulcair - in spite of the propaganda re: his stint at Alliance quebec to "Protect the English Language"... total LIE including Alliance Quebec's freak show claims to have succeeded in naming the 2.5 million English speaking population a freaking "minority"... in Our Canadian Province of Quebec; a horrific label that has resulted in ALL our rights and freedoms being criminally erased including of course Our English Language being treated as Illegal here in especially Montreal where of course we happen to live - or I should say - exist as a "minority to be "Cleansed Out"!! thomas Mulcair and for that matter Jack Layton have a history of kissing seppie behind (See: Sherbrooke Agreement) making a mockery of our Constitution and their "Oaths Of Office". Especially Mulcair who once elected as NDP Leader totally REFUSED to Use the English Language here in Montreal! Refused to have an English debate during his leadership race. And throughout the Federal election REFUSED to use English here in Quebec!! I could go on for volumes but will stop with - The NDP since Tommy Douglas has gone IMO to hell in a handbasket. Thank goodness Mulcair lost. Had he won the rest of the country would have learned what the nightmare of Seppies running our country is all about. Then again - it would have for sure created the "empathy" clearly lacking in the "Look the other way", 40 year response we - living in a no mans land - English population has been forced to endure here in the "No rights, no freedoms - Ethnic Cleansing Quebec - forced upon us all these years.
    Know I am thrilled to have found your Blog and admire your outstanding research skills, Emily. You're a brilliant writer and finding you today has actually "Made my day".. Bravo to you for saying it as it is.

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