June 1, 2017: Niki Ashton represents new breed of Canadian leader Earlier this week, the Toronto Sun published an op-ed entitled 'NDP MP Niki Ashton has made her priorities clear.' While I disagree with virtually everything the op-ed sought to assert, I do agree with the title, as indeed, it is clear that the rights of the oppressed are the priority in Ashton's distinguished political career.
March 23, 2017: Canada, Not Just the NDP, Needs a Socialist Alternative If it isn't already clear that the planet cannot sustain robber-baron free-market economics and that the growing inequality between the wealthy and impoverished is about to ignite a powder keg of discontent -- it should be. The American election showed us the same old centrism doesn't cut it anymore for the millions who've been short-changed by Wall Street.
January 9, 2017: Alberta workers under the NDP The New Democrats were elected in Alberta nearly two years ago. What changes have the New Democrats brought forward on the labour front and what challenges lie ahead for Albertan workers and unions? To answer these questions, Rankandfile.ca's Doug Nesbitt spoke with Bob Barnetson, Associate Professor of Labour Relations at Athabasca University in Alberta.
October 27, 2016: Sask. NDP meet for first time since election defeat at annual convention No Leap Manifesto, no shutting down coal-fired power plants in the province, and no making illicit drugs legal. That's the message the Saskatchewan NDP made at their annual convention Saturday as none of those policy resolutions that were pitched by members made it to the floor for voting.
October 6, 2016: Why the NDP Needs to Become the Party of Growth Social democratic parties in Canada haven’t had a lot to say about economic growth lately. There’s been plenty on offer about redistribution of economic gains — directing tax revenue towards productive investments in education, health care and infrastructure as opposed to handing it back to citizens, mostly the very rich ones, in the form of politically targeted tax cuts.
September 23, 2016: NDP publishes discussion guide on Leap Manifesto The Federal New Democratic Party has sent its constituency groups a detailed guide to the Leap Manifesto, which compares the Manifesto’s provisions with adopted NDP policies. The manual is a response to a decision by the party’s April 2016 convention to adopt the Manifesto as a basis for discussion.
September 23, 2016: Le NPD a perdu 75 % de ses membres québécois Le Nouveau Parti démocratique (NPD) a perdu les trois quarts de ses membres au Québec depuis la fin de la course au leadership qui avait mené à la victoire de Thomas Mulcair, en 2012. Les militants québécois ne représentent ainsi que 5 % des membres du parti à l’échelle du pays.
September 21, 2016: It's time for Labour and the NDP to figure out their relationship, Sid Ryan The NDP, formed in 1961, resulted from a merger between the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). The CCF was based on a solid foundation of opposition to the capitalist system, and vowed to replace it with 'a planned economy.' The CCF called for the nationalization of key industries, such as transportation and electric power. Interestingly, 83 years later, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party leader in the UK, urges the nationalization of Britain’s railway and energy systems, which polls show is wildly popular with voters.
September 16, 2016: Can the NDP be relevant? A little over a year ago NDP elites thought they were heading for a their first ever stint as the federal government under leadership of a former provincial Liberal cabinet minister from Quebec, Thomas Mulcair.
August 24, 2016: Canadian Greens vs U.S. Greens, Yves Engler As hard as it is to admit for a former junior hockey player who spends many hours writing at the neighbourhood Tim Hortons, some things are better in the USA. For example, comparing Green Party leader Elizabeth May to her American counterpart Jill Stein on foreign-policy issues puts Canada to shame. While Stein has articulated forthright criticism on various international issues, May spouts nationalist platitudes as often as she challenges unjust policies.
June 10, 2016: DiNovo's leadership bid exposes NDP's vexed approach to money in politics Cheri DiNovo announced that she's running for leader of the NDP. She also announced that she would not be ponying up the requisite $30,000. NDP insiders and conservative pundits alike snarked at the apparent contradiction. The problem is that while the snark from the right should be anticipated, the snark from the right within the NDP exposes a difficult truth: The NDP needs to figure its shit out.
May 26, 2016, Bullet No. #1261: Federal NDP's Pact With Satan Implodes, J. F. Conway The years of compromise and moderation were about to bear fruit in 2015. In 1933 the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) proudly declared itself a socialist party dedicated to the eradication of capitalism and building a socialist economy and society. Voices of moderation within the party appealed to the party's rank-and-file to be more pragmatic, less ideologically pure.
May 4, 2016: Why Alberta shouldn’t look to Norway, and why that’s a reason to Leap, Michal Rozworski One of the clearest memories I have from my only trip to Norway is the repeated failures at hitching a ride. What appeared to be an unbroken string of brand new Audi’s and BMW’s whizzed by my friend and I, dirty and sweaty after a few days hiking and camping in the mountains. “Where am I that the comforts of our rich assholes are the rights of common citizens?”, I remember thinking.
May 2, 2016: Climate policy and Canadian social democracy Recent events have triggered an important discussion on the Left’s approach to climate change policy. The Leap Manifesto is one expression of the desire to transition to a carbon neutral economy while creating a more just and “caring” society.
April 25, 2016: Rathika Sitsabaiesan, Former NDP MP, Now Wants To Run For Ontario Liberals One of the federal NDP’s former rising stars has decided she wants to run for the provincial Liberals in Ontario. Rathika Sitsabaiesan, the former NDP MP for the Toronto-area riding of Scarborough–Rouge River submitted her nomination papers to the Ontario Liberal Party this week.
April 24, 2016: Mulcair Must Go We welcome the open letter to New Democrats published today in the Toronto Star and Le Devoir; however, we worry that it does not go far enough in expressing the widespread anger and despair among New Democrats, particularly our party’s youth.
April 24, 2016: NDP Momentum The NDP's left alternative to austerity.
April 23, 2016: NDP: Campaign 2015 Review Campaign 2015 was an entirely new experience for our movement. Never before had we entered a campaign as the Official Opposition. Never before had we led the polls for weeks before and during the campaign.
April 23, 2016: NDP Convention 2016: Rank-and-file revolt turfs Mulcair Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair suffered an historic defeat as 52% of the 1800 delegates who attended the April 8-10 convention voted for a new leadership. It is the first time any major party leader in Canada failed to win the confidence of the membership in a leadership vote and actually lost a leadership review.
April 21, 2016: Is the NDP ready for a Leap to the left? In terms of rhetoric, delegates were, in many ways, offered two oppositional approaches. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley gave a speech that, while fantastic in its delivery, was largely an attack on democratic socialists — the left of the NDP.
April 21, 2016: The NDP Convention: A Leap to the Left? There were two highly visible and significant developments at the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) convention in Edmonton on the April 8-10 weekend. As widely discussed in the mass media, delegates passed a resolution on the Leap Manifesto and they launched a leadership contest to take place within two years.
April 20, 2016: Is the NDP ready for change? The last time I was in Edmonton, strangers were honking horns, welcoming me into their apartment buildings, and hugging me with glee. It was a year ago. Like many New Democrats across the country, I had made my way to Alberta to help get out the vote in a provincial election where the NDP was likely to win. Not only did we win, we went from four seats to a majority government in “Wild Rose country.”
April 20, 2016: There was no NDP Leap What is going on in Canada's "mainstream" left? According to many -- including those on both sides of this debate -- it seems that the NDP has taken some great leap to the left by embracing the activist Leap Manifesto backed by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis.
April 19, 2016: In a bold move, NDP delegates save their party In the aftermath of Tom Mulcair's crushing repudiation at the NDP's convention, the party enters a period of self-reflection and reinvention that it has never experienced before. The pent-up pressure for such a process was demonstrated dramatically in Edmonton -- the humiliating defeat of a leader unprecedented in the party's history and the (cautious) embrace of a radical manifesto that should prompt memories of the original Regina Manifesto.
April 19, 2016: Brother Dias, Sister Notley: There will be no jobs on a dead planet What is it with union and political leaders who treat their members as if they were children not old enough to deal with reality? Across Canada for the past three days the right wing media has been attacking the NDP for passing a resolution agreeing to “discuss” over the next two years the Leap Manifesto.
April 19, 2016: Pipelines or pipedreams? The Leap Manifesto and Alberta's dilemma, Christopher Majka It's clear that the climate is changing. The Paris Agreement on climate change brought together 195 nations representing virtually the entire planet in what many understood was the last chance to achieve a framework agreement that might have a chance to keep climate change within reasonable bounds that would not radically destabilize the planet and human civilization along with it.
April 18, 2016: Premier Notley on collision course with support for Energy East Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, to her credit, has made important strides, particularly with her promise to phase out the burning of coal for power. But her speech at the recent NDP convention, as well as her press conference on Monday, shows a disconnect between her words and actions.
April 18, 2016: The Leap: Time for a reality check Well, the Leap is certainly in the news. Many articles have been filled with errors and misrepresentations, which isn't surprising. It makes perfect sense that right-leaning publications and competing political parties would seek to bury the NDP at a time when it is engaged in a process of open soul-searching. We should expect more, however, from commentators on the left.
April 17, 2016: Climate justice movement shakes the NDP, Richard Fidler In a stunning rebuff to the party establishment, delegates to the federal convention of the New Democratic Party, meeting in Edmonton, Alberta, voted to reject Thomas Mulcair as their leader and to begin reorienting the party to become a leader in Canada's climate justice movement. They voted overwhelmingly, in the face of vehement opposition by the NDP’s revered Alberta leader Premier Rachel Notley, to endorse the Leap Manifesto.
April 17, 2016: The Impossible Dream, Todd Gordon With the removal of Thomas Mulcair and a leadership race soon to come, there is renewed energy around Canada’s New Democratic Party. Adding to the excitement, the party delegates voted over the weekend -- against the protests of members from Alberta, home of the tar sands -- to debate the “Leap Manifesto,” a document with a number of high-profile supporters, including Naomi Klein.
April 16, 2016: Breaking With Austerity In a surprising result given the party’s history of not forcibly ousting its leaders, delegates at the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) convention this past weekend voted to hold a new leadership election, ending Thomas Mulcair’s reign as NDP leader. Left politics in Canada has now entered a period that could see its reinvigoration or crushing defeat.
April 16, 2016: Why Leap isn't a manifesto for the people The Leap Manifesto is overwhelmingly focused on the climate change crisis. While this is a fundamental question of our time, the way the authors of Leap have approached the issue has already driven deep fissures into the NDP. Although the manifesto is vaguely worded on most issues, it is insistent on stopping pipelines and comes very close to saying that resources should be left in the ground.
April 16, 2016: The Leap Manifesto isn't radical Every political class considers themselves inclusive, diverse, open-minded. But present ideas that stray outside the boundaries of sanctioned debate, imposed by power and a patrolling press, and watch how quickly they stoop to bullying.
April 16, 2016: Avi Lewis on the 'ideological battle' over the Leap Manifesto If there’s an NDP gene, Avi Lewis surely has it. His late grandfather, David, was once federal leader, while his father, Stephen, ran the Ontario branch and remains a party elder statesman. But it was the Leap Manifesto—a creation of the younger Lewis, his wife, author Naomi Klein, and a number of other prominent activists—that helped crystallize discontent over Tom Mulcair’s leadership this past weekend.
April 15, 2016: Parts of Leap Manifesto make 'no sense' for B.C., NDP Leader John Horgan says B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan wants to form a common front with the Alberta NDP government in opposition to the federal party’s proposed policy manifesto aiming to wean Canada off fossil fuels by 2050. Mr. Horgan is currently under fire from labour leaders for his opposition to two major energy projects in B.C. on environmental grounds.
April 14, 2016: Middle-of-the-road Leap Manifesto hardly loony For those following the travails of the New Democratic Party, the Leap Manifesto is topic of the day. The short document, available on-line, can arouse fierce passions. Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley has called its centrepiece recommendations naive and ill-informed.
April 14, 2016: Can the NDP ever be taken seriously as a national government? Now that the ugly deed is done, it might be time to wonder whether it mattered at all. The data – for those who care about such trifles – certainly makes you wonder. The old CCF, predecessor of the NDP, had three leaders during its 29 years, who contested seven general elections.
April 14, 2016: Alberta's carbon tax could be the ticket to economic recovery Alberta is about to experience a first: in this week’s budget, the government will announce how it plans to spend the revenue from the price it has put on carbon. It is a resounding and positive shift in the province’s direction. If done right, it could also kick-start an ambitious recovery.
April 13, 2016: Eight possible candidates for the NDP leadership With the NDP leadership vote as much as two years away, it’s hard to say who will emerge as a serious candidate to succeed Tom Mulcair. Here are eight preliminary possibilities: Megan Leslie, Niki Ashton, Peter Julian, Jagmeet Singh, Alexandre Boulerice, Hassan Yussuff, Brian Topp, Avi Lewis.
April 13, 2016: After emotional, divisive leadership vote, NDP MPs to get back to work in Ottawa New Democrat MPs will return to the House of Commons today after an emotional and divisive weekend that ended up costing Tom Mulcair his job as leader. Not only does the federal party now have to contend with a potentially divisive leadership race within the next 24 months, it also has to contend with a now very-apparent rift with the governing Alberta NDP.
April 13, 2016: Is the NDP ready for a Leap to the left? In terms of rhetoric, delegates were, in many ways, offered two oppositional approaches. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley gave a speech that, while fantastic in its delivery, was largely an attack on democratic socialists — the left of the NDP.
April 12, 2016: Dear Premier Notley - Alberta needs jobs not pipelines Dear Premier Notley, I support your government on a lot of things. I was there the day it was sworn in, when thousands of people filled the legislative grounds. I was there when the first cabinet with full gender parity in Alberta’s history was sworn in. I cheered when - after years of an unfair tax system creating unequal burdens – the government raised corporate taxes.
April 12, 2016: Mulcair's out. How did it happen and what's next? Canada's New Democrats are now a party in search of a leader. Through most of its history, the NDP, and its predecessor, the CCF, focused more on party and program than on the singular magic of leadership. Leader-obsession was for the old-line parties, concerned about power and nothing but power.
April 11, 2016: Statement On The Passing Of The NDP Leap Resolution We are heartened by the news that the New Democratic Party of Canada has passed a resolution to “recognize and support” The Leap Manifesto as a “statement of principles that is in line with the aspirations, history, and values of the party.” The party did not adopt The Leap Manifesto: it has started a process of debating it in electoral districts across the country.
April 11, 2016: The mystery of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair's long fall The astonishing thing about yesterday's NDP leadership review vote is that an obviously smart guy like Thomas Mulcair seems not to have seen it coming. At least until the few hours before last weekend's national New Democratic Party convention in Edmonton, the federal NDP leader acted as if he were on cruise control.
April 10, 2016: The left has surged back elsewhere. Why not the NDP? A certain lassitude seems to have gripped the NDP for this weekend's leadership review in Edmonton. Donald Trump might call them low energy, like Jeb! Hey, they could try changing their name to NDP!
April 10, 2016: The Leap Manifesto and the NDP The New Democratic Party and its predecessor, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, have always had manifestos and other defining documents. From the Calgary Program to the Regina Manifesto to the Winnipeg Declaration...
April 9, 2016: Should Labour Turf Tom? A Rhetorical Question Recently the Toronto Sun published an op-ed piece naming Thomas Mulcair the “best bet” for NDP leader, lauding him for his lack of “nutty far-left ideas”. The NDP’s swing to the right in the 2015 federal election under Mulcair arguably cost the party front-runner status and 60 seats. So it is no surprise that the Sun named Mulcair as their guy.
April 9, 2016: 2016 NDP Convention Hassan Yussuff, the president of the Canadian Labour Congress, addresses the 2016 NDP National Convention in Edmonton on April 8, 2016.
April 8, 2016: NDP youth wing issues pre-convention anti-Mulcair letter NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, who’s hinted he needs 70 per cent support from delegates in Edmonton this weekend in order to stay on as leader but maintains he has no magic number, may not be able to count on the party’s youth wing.
April 8, 2016: NDP renewal should include a change at the top In advance of our biennial convention in Edmonton, NDP President Rebecca Blaikie has completed her report on the 2015 election. The report certainly contains a number of useful recommendations for our party on internal democracy and election strategy, which will be received and debated by the incoming party executive.
April 8, 2016: The NDP and the Leap Manifesto Dear delegates, It is exciting that the Leap Manifesto is receiving keen interest and growing support at our convention. We believe it can play a key role in our renewal and strengthen grassroots involvement in policy-making – rooted in a bold, inspiring, left vision of Canada.
April 7, 2016: After Spectacular Failure, NDP Needs A Leader Who Can Inspire It has been almost six months since the NDP's spectacular failure in the last federal election, and its precipitous plunge from first to third place, thereby squandering the best chance in a generation to win federal government to build a better Canada. Many New Democrats are still stunned by it all.
April 6, 2016: NDP should embrace Leap Manifesto Backers of the radical "Leap Manifesto" have a plan to push their agenda to the forefront of the NDP's convention later this week. The manifesto calls for dramatic change, urging a transition away from fossil fuels, a rejection of new pipelines and an upending of the capitalist system on which the economy is based.
April 6, 2016: Canadian Labour Congress head says NDP needs new leader Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff says Tom Mulcair does not deserve another term as NDP Leader and predicts he will win less than 60 per cent in Sunday’s leadership review vote. “I have told Tom that. I met Tom and had dinner with him, and I basically told him I don’t have an argument as to why you should remain as leader of the party, much less leading the party in terms of the 2019 election,” Mr. Yussuff told The Globe and Mail.
April 3, 2016: Is the NDP really still debating Mulcair's failed leadership? What the hell is going on in the NDP? With just over a week to go until the party's first convention since the complete debacle of the 2015 election campaign, bigger-and-bigger guns are coming out in support of Tom Mulcair's continued leadership. It increasingly -- if there was ever really any doubt -- looks like he will win his leadership review vote.
April 1, 2016: Tom Mulcair gains support from union leaders ahead of leadership vote Five union leaders are expressing support for Tom Mulcair ahead of next month's NDP convention in Edmonton, where party members will decide if he should remain at the helm of the party. In a statement released Tuesday, the labour leaders say Mulcair has proven his ability to provide a "true progressive" alternative to the Liberal government.
March 31, 2016: Can Tom Mulcair Accomplish Political Mission Impossible for NDP? Something needs to change -- everyone in the New Democratic Party knows that after a disastrous federal election result last October. The NDP lost over half its Members of Parliament, dropping to 44 seats compared to the 103 it won in 2011, losing 11 per cent of its vote, and failing to become government or even keep official opposition status, despite leading the polls for half the campaign.
March 23, 2016: Why a centrist NDP is not an option Prominent CBC commentator Chantal Hebert thinks dumping Tom Mulcair for being too centrist would be a mistake. When the NDP did win elections provincially, it won running from the centre, and the federal NDP would be no different, she wrote in a recent Toronto Star column. She advised that in a succession race, a centrist would win out over someone who wanted the party to go hard left.
March 21, 2016: Cold reality awaits New Democrats rethinking party's future As the New Democrats ponder the future of their federal party and its leadership, here are a few inconvenient truths they might have to face up to. Yes, the NDP lost the last federal campaign on a fiscal and social platform that the Liberals could have written.
March 21, 2016: Tom Mulcair not solely at fault for NDP's disastrous election showing Tom Mulcair is taking the heat for his New Democratic Party’s disastrous showing in the October federal election. Some New Democrats, including members of the party’s small but vocal socialist caucus, are publicly calling for Mulcair’s outright removal as party leader.
March 18, 2016: Quebec doesn't need its own NDP On Saturday night, the NDP-Quebec (or, NPD-Québec) is holding a rare public event in Quebec City. Hosted by former MP Jonathan Tremblay, the event is a public discussion about the future of a provincial NDP. The discussion is timely: at the last NDP-Quebec convention, it was resolved to run NDP-Quebec candidates in the next election.
March 13, 2016: The NDP can be renewed by the Waffle, NPI and Leap manifestos Fifteen years ago, activist and author Naomi Klein attended a founding meeting of the New Politics Initiative (NPI). After groups of activists and NDP members met across the country to draft a manifesto, the NPI sent a resolution to the NDP convention proposing to build a new party and a new relationship with social movements.
February 15, 2016: NDP riding associations back Leap Manifesto ahead of party convention As the NDP mulls over its disastrous election outcome, more than a dozen ridings are urging the party to embrace a plan for dramatic change at the party convention in April. The Leap Manifesto offers a number of recommendations, including a proposal to wean the country off fossil fuels to address climate change.
February 12, 2016: Six lessons the NDP can take from Bernie Sanders' unlikely victory After the disastrous showing in the last federal election, the NDP must again undergo a real soul-searching. The attempt to imitate a centrist liberal party proved to be a dead end. Meanwhile, after his landslide victory in the New Hampshire primary, Bernie Sanders has emerged as a major contender in the U.S. presidential race and has put "Canada's progressive opposition" to shame.
February 11, 2016: Will the NDP take on corporate power? It's time to choose. Across Canada, NDP federal riding associations are meeting in preparation for an April 8-10 Edmonton convention, where there will be a leadership review. In a January 22 statement, Tom Mulcair said the party needs to focus on income inequality.
February 7, 2016: NDP need to embrace the left There’s an old adage that you eventually become what you hate. We in the NDP have been fighting Liberals for so long we’re becoming them. Liberals will never be truly progressive — they’re the party that spins left and governs right, cuts social services and privatizes vital resources like hydro, all while funded by Bay St.
February 5, 2016: Putting democracy back in the NDP With Tom Mulcair intending to stay on as leader despite the NDP's recent campaign performance, many on Canada's left are asking where is the NDP's Jeremy Corbyn or Bernie Sanders? The key to radical leadership is grounding it in the grassroots. The British Labour leader won power, and is holding onto it, by involving over 100,000 new members in the party. Sanders is successfully challenging the U.S. Democratic Party's establishment candidate on the strength of over a million small donations.
February 3, 2016: Alberta union president warns against cutting health care jobs to save money The president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees says cuts to the health care system shouldn't be made on the backs of workers and Albertans who depend on the services they provide. "Our members are already stretched to the limit when it comes to frontline services," Guy Smith said Friday. "There is nowhere to cut on the front lines because health care to Albertans will suffer as a result."
February 1, 2016: Alberta NDP spares industry, offering oil sands a royalty break Alberta’s NDP government is holding the line on oil sands royalties under an industry-friendly policy, shielding the sector from higher costs as it copes with severely depressed crude prices. Premier Rachel Notley also set a flat rate for new wells drilled outside the oil sands, easing industry fears that a sweeping review of energy royalties would result in substantially higher fees.
January 5, 2016: New Democrats Not 'Settled' After Election Loss, But Respect For Mulcair Remains More than nine weeks after the federal election saw the NDP go from first in the polls to third place, a veteran MP says the party is still in a period of reflection. "Where we are, I don't think it's settled out yet, which surprises me a bit," British Columbia NDP MP Nathan Cullen told The Huffington Post Canada in a year-end interview.
December 31, 2015: Sask. NDP no longer promising First Nations revenue sharing The leader of Saskatchewan's Opposition says he will not campaign on sharing resource money with the province's First Nations again. Resource revenue sharing was a major plank in the NDP's platform in the last provincial election, but NDP leader Cam Broten says the idea will not be back.
December 7, 2015: Lament for a Party that has lost its way I write this with sadness and dismay. Finally, after more than 80 years from the time Canada’s social democratic party had been formed (first as the CCF, then as the NDP), in 2011 it became the Official Opposition, and as the 2015 election approached, consistent public opinion polls indicated that the New Democratic Party was headed to form the government.
November 23, 2015: How the New Democrats defeated themselves “There’s an old expression,” Jack Kennedy is supposed to have quipped in the wake of the Bay of Pigs fiasco. “‘Victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan.'” It’s an aphorism that could easily apply to the recent NDP election campaign. Maybe we didn’t see hundreds of “fathers” claiming credit for bringing the party to Official Opposition status in 2011 — but certainly nobody’s rushing to claim paternity for its defeat in October.
November 4, 2015: Today's NDP, Socialism, and the Party's Legacy Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) in recent years has been engaged in internal debates about the party’s legacy, path to victory, vision of society, and role of socialism. In these debates, the ‘moderates’ have carried the day, arguing that the NDP cater to the middle class and small business, becoming in other words a small-l liberal party focused on electability.
November 4, 2015: Turns Out, the NDP Just Wasn't Ready - How The NDP Campaign Failed Let me get this straight: the NDP blew its best chance of winning government in history, squandered its lead and dropped by 59 seats -- over half from the 103 it won in 2011 -- and there's "a lot of hope" after the election? The NDP also lost one million votes from 2011, despite higher turnout, and for the first time in Canadian history saw a third party, Justin Trudeau's Liberals, leap frog over the Official Opposition to win 184 seats -- and there's "a lot of opportunity?"
October 30, 2015: Turns Out, the NDP Just Wasn't Ready "I think we emerged from this with a lot of hope for where we can go from here... We have a lot of opportunity going forward." -- Anne McGrath, NDP 2015 election campaign director What?! Let me get this straight: the NDP blew its best chance of winning government in history, squandered its lead and dropped by 59 seats -- over half from the 103 it won in 2011 -- and there's "a lot of hope" after the election?
October 26, 2015: NDP lost election by veering to the right There were many factors that played into Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s unexpected majority government. But in the opinion of this lifelong union activist and former NDP candidate, neither the much-maligned niqab, nor cynical strategic voting, played as much of a role in the NDP reversal of fortune as the decision to abandon its social democratic roots.
October 26, 2015: The NDP: Minting a new political currency Break out the Wizard of Oz soundtrack: yes, the witch is dead. Or is it, really? There will still be 99 Conservatives MPs sitting in the 42nd Parliament, and although some of the rats left the sinking ship months before and others were defeated in the election, some of the most rapacious ones are yet present, amongst them Stephen Harper, the Wicked Witch of the West himself -- still waving the dead hand of fear, intolerance, xenophobia, and austerity to control the members of his caucus. It promises to be an edifying spectacle.
September 24, 2015, Bullet No. #1166: The NDP and the Election, Herman Rosenfeld At this moment, it seems that Harper's Conservatives are losing ground, headed for possible defeat or minority status, if recent polls are to be believed. If these trends continue, it might represent a long-awaited respite from years of unrelenting and hard-edge neoliberal offensive in all walks of Canadian life.
August 13, 2015: Quebec labour unions reject Bloc, embrace NDP The Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ) is turning its back on the Bloc Quebecois. The union's secretary general, Serge Cadieux, told La Presse that most union affiliates support the NDP.
August 11, 2015: Morgan Wheeldon, Israel and the triumph of neo-conservative dogma, Michael Laxer It would seem that, as with climate change, any serious discussion or criticism of Israel is now essentially forbidden in mainstream politics in Canada -- including within the NDP. On the heels of backtracking on a perfectly reasonable and, in fact, scientifically factual comment made by star candidate Linda McQuaig about the oilsands, the NDP has now, quite literally, erased the candidacy of Morgan Wheeldon in Nova Scotia over comments he made critical of Israel's attacks on the Palestinians.
May 11, 2015: The liberal-social democratic false god of "corporate taxes" "Make the corporations pay!" It is a slogan that sounds good, and with which I would fully agree, under conditions where "corporations," or, more accurately, those who control them, were actually paying. But this is not the case in the debate in Canada today.
February 9, 2015: The ONDP's internal fictions and the Sudbury by-election loss On an abstract level I think it is fair to say that the by-election result last night in Sudbury, which saw the Liberals retake the seat from the NDP, is somewhat disappointing and reinforces the very deep, and perfectly reasonable, cynicism many feel about what passes for politics these days.
January 30, 2015: NDP's Small Business Tax Cut Would Help The Rich An NDP plan to give tax relief to small businesses will actually end up giving wealthy Canadians a tax cut, some economists said Tuesday. '[It's] something to make the rich richer,' Jack Mintz, the director of the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy, told The Huffington Post Canada.
January 30, 2015: Tax cuts, income inequality and the NDP small business job plan Have you ever heard the idea that, if given 'tax relief,' business people -- those pillars of the capitalist economy -- will innovate, create jobs and eventually make our society and government wealthier even though they are being taxed less?
January 29, 2015: As election looms, Tom Mulcair's NDP walks a fine line Tom Mulcair is walking a careful line. The New Democratic Party leader wants to continue the work that his predecessor, Jack Layton, did in attracting new voters. But he's also trying to hang on to the NDP's traditional left-of-centre base.
January 9, 2015, Bullet No. #1066: When History Knocks, Sam Gindin To raise the environmental crisis in Canada is to simultaneously highlight the notorious Alberta Tar Sands, the fastest growing polluter in Canada. But the Tar Sands are more than an environmental issue. This crisis-in-motion is inseparable from other fundamental issues at the core of Canadian society: indigenous land claims, Canada's integration to the American empire and its oil-hungry military leviathan, a focus on resource extraction as a core of Canada's economic development and a set of contested values about 'the good life.'
November 24, 2014: Byelections show why the NDP should move left If there is a political lesson from this week's federal byelections, it is that the New Democrats must go left. Justin Trudeau's Liberals are eating up the middle. There is increasingly little room for Tom Mulcair's New Democrats there.
September 1, 2014, Bullet No. #1030: Working Class Politics After the NDP, Sam Gindin and Michael Hurley The issue that we can't ignore this Labour Day is the disorientation in our movement's politics. List the issues working people are most concerned about today -- whether deindustrialization, unemployment and underemployment; access to healthcare, childcare and pensions; poverty, racism, conditions of foreign workers and appalling levels of overall inequality; the environment, transit costs and transit services; another corporate-friendly trade agreement that is insensitive to workers and communities.
August 13, 2014: Andrea Howath Admits Elements Of Ontario NDP Platform Alienated Labour New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath showed some contrition to Ontario's labour movement Tuesday after a disappointing third-place finish in the June 12 election. She acknowledged for the first time that some of her left-leaning party's traditional supporters were turned off by the NDP platform.
August 6, 2014: NDP Must Condemn Israeli Aggression and Harper's Lies Since the Israeli Defence Forces invaded the Gaza Strip on July 8th, the death toll has passed 1,500 people, the vast majority of them civilians. As members of Solidarity Halifax, we have been reacting in horror as Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip continues to kill, injure, and displace Palestinians. We are not able to say the same of our Canadian political parties.
August 1, 2014: NDP supporters occupy Paul Dewar's office About a dozen protesters staged an 'occupation' of NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar's office Thursday to express their frustration with his party for failing to condemn of Israel's actions during the conflict in Gaza.
July 27, 2014, Bullet No. #1015: Fatal Advice for the NDP, J. F. Conway Murray Mandryk, the political columnist for Saskatchewan's capitalist press, once again gives the NDP free political advice regarding the dangers of toying with left-wing ideas. He represents a long tradition in Canadian political commentary -- the capitalist media have repeatedly warned the CCF and the NDP about the electoral folly of being too left-leaning.
July 17, 2014: The NDP's simmering civil war over Gaza There's something rotten in the state of Canada's kumbaya party. For generations, the NDP -- with its almost evangelical roots -- has promoted an image of itself as the party of peace, harmony and understanding.
July 17, 2014: Open Letter to the NDP: It's time to condemn Israel's massacres Dear New Democratic Party of Canada, as fellow Canadians who are concerned with human rights, we call on you to condemn Israel's murderous bombing campaign on the defenceless population of Gaza. Since Tuesday, July 8, Israel has killed over 190 Palestinians in Gaza, including more than 25 children.
July 16, 2014: NDP's anti-Palestine sentiment is part of a much wider problem Paul Manly aimed to run as a federal NDP candidate for the new riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith, British Columbia. His key focus areas range from environmental and energy issues to health care, but he has been denied candidacy for this riding by the federal NDP because of his association to the issue of Palestine.
July 15, 2014: What is to be done about the Ontario NDP? Despite cutting services and programs, raising tuition fees, and repeated public scandals, the Ontario Liberal Party has remained firmly in power since 2003.
July 7, 2014: NDP's anti-Palestine sentiment is part of a much wider problem Paul Manly aimed to run as a federal NDP candidate for the new riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith, British Columbia. His key focus areas range from environmental and energy issues to health care, but he has been denied candidacy for this riding by the federal NDP because of his association to the issue of Palestine.
July 3, 2014: Not your NDP Candidate I would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement for my bid for the nomination to be the NDP candidate for the new federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith. It is with regret that I write to tell you that the federal NDP has refused to allow me to stand as a candidate.
July 2, 2014, Bullet No. #1004: NDP Lurch to the Right Underscores Need for A New, Left-Wing Party in Canada, Roger Annis Voters in Canada's largest and most industrialized province went to the polls on June 5 to choose a provincial government. The choices were limited lesser evils, 'bad,' or 'worse,' constrained by a lurch to the political right by the union-based Ontario New Democratic Party.
June 23, 2014: NDP signals move to mushy middle NDP leader Tom Mulcair is signalling he's following the path of Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath moving his party to the centre for the next federal election. In an interview about the NDP's position on the political spectrum, Mulcair suggested he is taking notes from a controversial former British Prime Minister -- The Labour Party's Tony Blair.
October 20, 2013: The NDP defeat under the microscope The provincial election on October 10 in Nova Scotia saw Stephen McNeil's Liberal party sweep to power capturing 33 seats to form a majority government. The NSNDP was relegated to third place with a paltry seven seats, the lowest for the party since 1993. Even Darrell Dexter, the sitting premier, lost his own seat.
October 16, 2013: The NDP's Harper-like Foreign Policy, Yves Engler Is the NDP the solution or part of the problem for those us who promote a Canadian foreign policy that favours ordinary people around the world? While pushing arms control measures and oversight of Canadian mining companies, this 'Left' party generally backs the military and a Western pro-capitalist outlook to global affairs. In 2011 the party supported two House of Commons votes endorsing the bombing of Libya.
October 15, 2013: Election Nova Scotia: Orange crush to red tide Its dissolution began at the instant of its creation. I clearly recall being in the cavernous Cunard Centre on the Halifax waterfront where Darrell Dexter chose to present his new cabinet on June 19, 2009, shortly after the triumphant Nova Scotia election that brought the first NDP government in history to power -- and a majority one, at that.
September 20, 2013: Tom Mulcair Says NDP Won't Tax Super-Rich NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says he will not tax the super-rich and will not increase personal income taxes -- despite the fact that some in his own party think it's the way to go. NDP candidate Linda McQuaig, selected by New Democrats on Sunday to represent them in an upcoming Toronto Centre byelection, told The Huffington Post that she still favours taxing the rich at a higher rate despite what her party's leadership says.
August 12, 2013: Linda McQuaig Is Exactly What the NDP Doesn't Need Last week I wrote a surprisingly well-received column on what I expected to be a deeply uninteresting topic -- the appointment of journalist Chrystia Freeland as the Liberal nominee in an upcoming Toronto-Centre byelection.
May 26, 2013: The NDP and the left in Nova Scotia This article, however, does pose the question how should the left understand the NDP in Nova Scotia? I would say that there are roughly five lefty
readings of the NSNDP that I have encountered...
May 21, 2013: Capitalists win, all others lose in B.C. election The capitalists won the B.C. election. Extractive industries make big profits in the province, and have bigger plans for its future. More port facilities for coal exports to China, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants, new pipelines across the mountains, increased tanker traffic in the Vancouver Harbour, and through coastal waters; these environmental disasters in the making represent lucrative ventures to Liberal backers.
May 20, 2013: After stunning NDP loss in B.C., it's time for a new kind of politics The NDP's stunning loss in B.C. is being deconstructed, dissected, analyzed and mourned over not only here but across the country. Every pundit and political junky, including me, thought the NDP would win, even after their lead suddenly dropped. But unfortunately, most of the analysis won't be very helpful for those individuals and organizations hoping and fighting for a better country.
May 1, 2013: Why I voted against the NDP climate motion Goodness knows, I wish the NDP had put forward a motion I could have voted for. We need a good debate on climate and we need a strong call for government action. But, I couldn't vote for that motion.
April 27, 2013: Our obsession with the political centre When I was little (which for historical purposes was back in the Diefenbaker-Pearson days) my dad used to say that he was 'middle of the road' politically. That seemed sensible to me and I didn't give it much thought. In its most exalted form the idea can be traced back to Aristotle's via media, the middle way, or if you like the Golden Mean -- the idea that virtue is to be found between the extremes. So, for example, on the spectrum from recklessness to cowardice, you find the virtue of courage nestled snugly in the middle.
April 19, 2013: NDP ditches socialist albatross just when it might be an asset It's richly ironic that New Democrats, who laboured for years to shed the albatross of 'socialism' so they could gambol like Liberals in the fields of electoral bliss, finally succeeded last weekend just when the word may no longer be cursed.
April 18, 2013, Bullet No. #807: The NDP Convention, Murray Cooke Like the federal Liberal Party leadership race, the NDP policy convention this past weekend proved to be rather anti-climactic. Any expectations (or hopes) for a divisive, soul-searching, battle royale over the identity of the NDP fell flat.
April 17, 2013: NDP Attacks the Left at Their Own Peril As many activists on the Left have already pointed out, the new preamble approved at the NDP convention over the weekend is probably a more accurate reflection of the party than the old preamble, ideologically speaking. I don't think anybody believes the NDP has been a socialist party for a long time, so there's no sense in bemoaning the death of socialism in the NDP.
April 16, 2013: NDP Leader Adrian Dix bears no resemblance to B.C. Liberals' caricature British Columbia's Opposition leader, Adrian Dix, isn't surprised that the budget tabled by the B.C. Liberal government plagiarized major features of NDP policy. What genuinely astonishes Dix is the unconcealed cynicism of the B.C. Liberals. 'The public deserves better than a government that sees the budget as an exercise in game theory,' Dix told me this week.
April 15, 2013: The NDP stumbles over the 'S' word: Strategy This weekend the NDP is meeting in Montréal. The party's intentions are clear: they want to show Canadians that they're ready to govern. This, despite the fact that most Canadians have lived under a social democratic government at some point and know that the NDP can govern.
April 15, 2013: NDP takes moderate line in updated preamble to party constitution The New Democratic Party is reaching out to centrist Canadians after severing some of its socialist tethers. A large majority of delegates at the party's biannual policy convention approved revisions to the preamble to the NDP constitution Sunday that replaced strident anti-capitalist doctrine with more moderate language.
April 12, 2013: Federal NDP meets in Montréal -- another missed opportunity?, Richard Fidler The federal convention of the New Democratic Party, the Official Opposition in Canada's parliament, opens on Friday, April 12, in Montréal. Although a majority of the party's MPs represent Quebec constituencies, its leader Thomas Mulcair is from Quebec, and the convention is meeting in Quebec's metropolis, the draft Agenda indicates that little time has been set aside for debating the party's approach to Quebec.
April 12, 2013, Bullet No. #803: The Weakness Unto Death, Jeff Noonan On March 30th, Peter Kormos, as close to a socialist as the NDP had left in its ranks of former elected members, died. His death was perhaps an omen foretelling the extinction of the NDP as a party defined by principled commitment to building an alternative to a failed capitalist society. One week after Kormos' death Thomas Walkom reported that the NDP is debating a constitutional amendment to replace the party's historic goal with a new aim: championing "a rules-based economy."
April 11, 2013: Requiem for a preamble: A lament for a socialist ideal The New Democratic Party believes that the social, economic and political progress of Canada can be assured only by the application of democratic socialist principles to government and the administration of public affairs.
April 4, 2013: NDP ponders deleting socialism from its guiding statement NDP brass are taking a second shot at jettisoning some of the socialist baggage that many -- including Leader Tom Mulcair -- feel might hold them back in the next federal election. A committee of senior NDP members is recommending the party modernize its guiding statement by making it less ideological and dropping most of its many references to socialism.
March 22, 2013: The perils of populism History is ripe with irony, though the irony is generally lost on those in the midst of it. Today we have the irony of an Ontario New Democratic Party (ONDP) running on a 'pocketbook'-driven right-wing populist platform that is antithetical to the founding principles of their own movement, and doing so with seemingly no sense that they are, in reality, engaging in the final sacrifice of these principles on the alter of the moral false god of power.
March 5, 2013: How Can the NDP Get Back on Track? As everyone knows, the New Democratic Party (NDP) is no longer Saskatchewan's 'natural governing party.' In the 2011 election they won only 32% of the vote and today Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party government, in its second term, has an approval rating of around 70%. All four of the young men who have been seeking the leadership of the NDP have stressed the need for a serious renewal and revitalization.
January 31, 2013: NDP took a right turn into the wilderness The Saskatchewan NDP is in the process of selecting a new leader. While the party is holding a number of debates across the province, there has been scant media coverage and little public interest. Murray Mandryk has noted that the debates have been very 'polite'. There is no surge of new members. There has been no effort to reach outside the party.
January 17, 2013: NDP may revisit proposal to rewrite pro-socialist preamble this spring Are federal New Democrats about to find themselves in the midst of a constitutional crisis? A party constitutional crisis, that is -- specifically, one sparked by the as yet unresolved question of whether to strip the decades-old document of all references to 'socialism,' 'socialist principles' and the party's 'proud' association with 'democratic socialist parties around the world,' which could be on the table at the upcoming convention in April.
December 13, 2012: The Canadian Left Needs a New Party The Canadian left needs a new party because although the NDP has done many beneficial things for Canadian society, the NDP is no longer a party of the left. The party's transformation is largely due to its repudiation of two salient values of the left, namely, economic equality and a predominant role for the state in economic affairs.
December 12, 2012: Mulcair's NDP Part I: The New Liberal Party Tom Mulcair has been the leader of the federal New Democratic Party for more than eight months now. His leadership has largely been as expected: solid, competent and moderate. Mulcair has continued Jack Layton's strategy of trying to supplant the Liberals as the middle-of-the-road alternative to the Harper Conservatives.
November 20, 2012: Note to NDP: Where are you going? A couple of polls showing the NDP losing support to the Liberals pose some pretty fundamental questions for the party and its small 'l' liberal leader Thomas Mulcair. Does the party follow the narrow political path of the two big business parties or does it reinvent itself as a movement party and tap into the deep dissatisfaction of Canadians about the state of politics and governance in this country?
October 14, 2012: Left Turn in Canada?, Murray Cooke and Dennis Pilon In the last Canadian federal election, the New Democratic Party (NDP) won more than 30 per cent of the popular vote. For the first time in the party's fifty-year existence, it now forms the Official Opposition in the national Parliament in Ottawa. Because of this remarkable showing, the question of whether this election represents a historic national breakthrough for the Canadian left has been put on the agenda.
October 3, 2012: Erin on the Nexen Takeover Last week, Erin Weir emerged as the only progressive voice addressing the proposed Chinese takeover of Nexen from a Saskatchewan perspective.
July 31, 2012, Bullet No. #672: Remembering Sask Oil: It Can Be Done!, John W. Warnock This past week it was revealed that one of China's state-owned oil corporations has made a bid to take over Nexen, one of the remaining four large oil corporations operating in this country that are deemed to be Canadian owned and controlled. Nexen is based in Calgary, but it is known that around 65 per cent of its stock ownership is foreign.
July 27, 2012: Pallister left with no right Former MP and MLA Brian Pallister is about to become the next leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba. It's a difficult time to be Conservative leader since the NDP haven't left much political room on the right.
June 30, 2012: On the 40th anniversary of the expulsion of the Waffle This past weekend, June 24, marked the 40th anniversary of the expulsion of the Waffle from the NDP. The Waffle, (actually the Movement for an Independent Socialist Canada), for those who do not know it, was a grouping of socialists, nationalists, feminists and activists that was formed in 1969 within the NDP. It was, broadly speaking, led by James Laxer and Mel Watkins.
April 11, 2012: The eternal leavening of the Canadian left In the wake of the NDP leadership convention, party unity problems were anticipated. There would be a gulf between party traditionalists, those echoing Ed Broadbent's sentiments, and those supporting the perceived move to the centre of Thomas Mulcair. Thus far, it's quiet.
April 6, 2012: Tony Blair's 'New Labour' offers blueprint for Thomas Mulcair Imagine an unreconstructed social democratic political party that had toiled in the opposition wilderness for many years. Its leader takes some tentative steps to modernize it to increase the chances of winning government. He then dies suddenly in his prime.
April 6, 2012, Bullet No. #613: Mulcair's Victory: What Does It Mean?, Matt Fodor On March 24, the membership of the Federal New Democratic Party elected Thomas Mulcair to succeed the late Jack Layton as their national leader, who tragically died of cancer in August 2011. With about 65,000 of the party's 130,000 members participating in the leadership election, Mulcair prevailed over runner-up Brian Topp on the fourth ballot.
April 2, 2012, Bullet No. #611: Mulcair's Victory: A New Direction for the NDP?, Richard Fidler There is a lot of speculation going the rounds about whether or to what degree Thomas Mulcair will change the direction of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP). Mulcair, as everyone who pays attention to Canadian politics knows by now, emerged the winner in the NDP's contest to replace deceased leader Jack Layton.
April 1, 2012: Recycling neo-liberalism in austerity budgets At what point does something that was once new, turn into old, and make way for something newer? Twenty years? 30? 40? I ask in light of the CBC's Terry Milewski's question to NDP Leader Tom Mulcair at his first news conference. How do you expect to appeal to voters, he prodded, with a program so 'antiquated'?
March 31, 2012: Maybe a new world really is possible under Mulcair It's been a rough month for those of us on the pessimistic left. Faithful readers will know that I've spent my adult life trying to get the NDP to be realistic about its modest status in Canadian life.
March 25, 2012: Broadbent's broadside hints at short shelf life for a Mulcair-led Opposition Soon, the New Democratic Party will have a new leader. Whether it will have any meaningful political future is another matter. I've already shown that a Thomas Mulcair victory would formally complete the Israelization of Canada's national political parties, thereby depriving voters of their last Canadian electoral option.
March 23, 2012: The NDP: New wine in an old jar?, Richard Fidler Iimmediate item of note is the federal NDP leadership race, which will come to a close on March 24 at a convention in Toronto. There, the postal votes of the pan-Canadian membership will be tallied and the new leader will be selected by delegates, probably after more than one elimination ballot since it appears that none of the seven remaining candidates enjoys clear majority support.
March 21, 2012: Where did Jack Layton stand? In addition to a lack of specific policy debates with which to frame the discussion, the debate over the future direction of the NDP is complicated by the most recent point of reference: Jack Layton. What kind of party was the NDP under his leadership?
March 19, 2012: NDP leadership race: nobody to endorse In the midst of austerity and war, and the potential for united resistance across Canada and Quebec, there is no candidate that opens up space for movements outside Parliament.
March 13, 2012: Horwath lays out NDP's budget priorities NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the goal of the upcoming provincial budget must ensure the financial well-being of families who make our province work and laid out her priorities for the upcoming budget in an open letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty.
February 25, 2012: Is Bay Street backing Thomas Mulcair? Anthony Munk is not your typical donor to the New Democratic Party. He serves as a director of Barrick Gold Corporation, the Canadian mining giant founded by his father, Peter Munk.
February 18, 2012: NDP Leadership Candidates Debate Foreign Policy, Or Not, Roger Annis In Quebec City, the seven remaining candidates for the leadership of the New Democratic Party engaged in their third all-candidates debate. The theme was to be 'Canada on the world stage', and it was the first of two debates to be held in the French language.
February 17, 2012: Alert Radio - Episode 203 Who will make the best leader of the NDP and does it matter? Some surprising answers from Murray Dobbin, Corvin Russell, Simon Tremblay Pepin, Josh Brandon, Herman Rosenfeld, Stefan Christoff.
February 10, 2012, Bullet No. #596: The NDP Leadership Race: Sleepwalking Toward the Centre?, Murray Cooke For the first time, the New Democratic Party (NDP) is holding a leadership race that involves picking the leader of the Official Opposition and someone that can, with some credibility, claim a decent shot at becoming the next Prime Minister of Canada.
February 9, 2012: Is There a Future for the Saskatchewan NDP?, John Warnock From 1944 through 2007 Saskatchewan politics was dominated by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and its successor the New Democratic Party (NDP). But then it was soundly defeated by the Saskatchewan Party in 2007 and routed in 2011.
January 18, 2012: Remember the NDP Leadership Race? As the Occupy movement outpaces the political process, I wonder if any of these candidates can turn anger into hope.
December 3, 2011: NDP hopefuls gingerly approach the economic crisis For years, the New Democrats have avoided talking seriously about the economy, relying instead on bromides like 'helping working families' or 'putting people ahead of profits.' With the world in crisis, they no longer have that luxury.
December 2, 2011, Bullet No. #576: Social Democracy and the Economic Crisis: The Saskatchewan Case, John W. Warnock In the Spanish general election, the Socialist Party government was soundly defeated. The rightist Peoples Party won the election but only increased their vote by a very small margin. The Indignados, the people who staged mass street mobilizations, asked the voters to stay home, spoil their ballot or vote for the numerous smaller parties.
November 20, 2011: How the NDP can win With the NDP leadership debates soon to get underway, I thought I would post some thoughts on what themes and issues the party should be emphasizing.
October 30, 2011: The NDP After Jack The federal New Democratic Party (NDP) has achieved its cherished dream of replacing the Liberals as the Official Opposition in Ottawa. Now, the party faces some big, important decisions.
October 30, 2011: Occupy the NDP There's nothing quite like a global social movement to knock other stuff off the front pages and the Occupy movement has done just that.
October 29, 2011: Peggy Nash pitches a pragmatic radicalism to her NDP Peggy Nash is the practical radical. The Toronto MP didn't use those words when she formally announced her bid for the New Democratic Party leadership Friday at a trendy Parkdale hotel. But that's what she meant.
September 28, 2011: The Ontario NDP Platform Pollsters tell us that Ontario's New Democrats may double their seat total in next month's provincial election. It's also entirely conceivable that they could be part of a coalition government at Queen's Park. But what's actually in the party's election platform? One central feature of the NDP's proposals is to implement a tax credit for companies that hire new workers.
September 22, 2011, Bullet No. #546: Layton's Legacy and the NDP Leadership Race, Murray Cooke With the death of Jack Layton, the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) has been thrust into an unexpected leadership race, its future in question. Layton led the NDP to a historic breakthrough in Quebec and brought the NDP to Official Opposition status for the first time.
September 11, 2011: Can the NDP thrive after Jack Layton? And save the country? Canadians who maintain the dream of a more equal, democratic and civilized society may no longer be reeling from the August 22 death of Jack Layton, leader of the NDP and of the formal opposition to Stephen Harper's government.
September 7, 2011: What's next for the NDP? Jack Layton has had a profound impact on us all and on politics in Canada -- across the political spectrum. Anyone unwilling to acknowledge that could not have been paying attention to the response of Canadians across the country, from every walk of life.
September 5, 2011: CAW: Which Way Ahead for Ontario? On October 6, the people of Ontario will go to the polls to choose their next provincial government. Ontarians will be making a choice that could set our province on a starkly different economic and social path for years, even decades, to come.
August 22, 2011: Jack Layton's Winning Spirit You don't really get to know some people until you know them when they're down. That's a problem for anyone who wants to write about Jack Layton, the leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, who's taking a medical leave while he deals with some health setbacks.
August 22, 2011: Jack Layton dead at 61 Jack Layton, the New Democratic Party leader who led his party to Official Opposition status in this year's federal election, has died after a battle with cancer.
August 1, 2011, Bullet No. #530: Making Sense of the Federal Election in Canada, Herman Rosenfeld Making sense of the surprising outcome of the May 2nd federal election in Canada is a major challenge for everyone on the Left, especially among those who are engaged in efforts to create a political space to the left of social democracy.
July 28, 2011: Understanding Quebec's Orange Wave From an outsider's point of view, the last federal election may give the impression that a majority of Quebecois(es) has converted to social democracy and asymmetrical federalism.
July 14, 2011: NDP Votes For War After the sweetness of victory comes the agony of betrayal.
July 1, 2011: The Left and the end of Harper I have a dream about the end of Harper, in which he is driven from office, a reviled figure. His will be a name invoked by parents to scare their little children.
June 24, 2011: Canada's NDP stampedes to the right Having been catapulted into the role of Official Opposition, the trade union-based New Democratic Party (NDP) is now seeking to convince the Canadian ruling class that it can be trusted to rule on their behalf, supplanting the Liberal Party as the bourgeoisie's 'left' party of government.
June 20, 2011: NDP will remain socialists for now New Democrats will remain socialists for now as delegates voted to send a controversial change to the language in the party constitution back to the drawing table to avoid a divisive debate.
June 19, 2011: Bulletin from the NDP: Socialism, 1796-2011, Is Dead. RIP., James Laxer The NDP leadership has announced that Socialism, aged 215, is dead. "Nobody uses the word 'democratic socialism' in contemporary terms. It is very rare," an unnamed senior party official told the press on the eve of the NDP convention in Vancouver.
June 19, 2011: Reflections on the NDP at 50, Murray Cooke The New Democratic Party is celebrating its 50th anniversary at its federal convention, this weekend in Vancouver. This comes in the aftermath of their historic election results in the May 2011 election. It's a useful time to reflect on the history of the NDP. So here are nine theses on the NDP at 50.
June 19, 2011: Jack Layton Kicks Off NDP Convention Jack Layton kicked off the NDP convention Friday with a bold prediction that the one-time protest party is on its way to becoming the next government of Canada.
June 14, 2011: The New Democrats turn the big 5-0 June 17th marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the NDP. Looking forward and reflecting back will be the themes on the agenda of the federal party meeting in Vancouver at its June 17-19 convention.
June 6, 2011: Le peuple québécois change le destin du NPD En élisant 59 députés québécois du NPD, le peuple québécois a jeté les bases permettant au NPD de sortir de son statut de tiers parti auquel il était réduit depuis plusieurs décennies.
May 26, 2011: Why Harper's majority is good news for the left Canada's left-wing advocacy groups should be thanking their lucky stars. For them, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recent majority victory is going to mean four years of more money, more relevance and more support.
May 25, 2011: NDP gains widen space for social struggles The incumbent Conservative Party sailed to victory in Canada's federal election on May 2 with the first majority government in the federal parliament since the 2000 election.
May 20, 2011: What the Conservative majority means for progressive organizing Anti-war activist Derrick O'Keefe talks about what the election results mean for the future of progressive organizing. He also shares his thoughts on why the Liberal party collapsed and what that means for the future of electoral politics in Canada.
May 16, 2011: Canadian elections: Another failed intervention After decades abroad as a TV host, academic and public intellectual in Britain and the United States, Michael Ignatieff's Canadian political homecoming has ended in disaster.
May 12, 2011: Understanding the NDP sweep in Quebec Before the May 2 election, the NDP had only ever won 2 seats in Quebec. Now they hold 58 out of 75 seats in the province. Roger Rashi is a founding member of the progressive party Quebec Solidaire. He explains what he thinks led to this remarkable turn of events.
May 12, 2011, Bullet No. #502: After the Election 2011: Building Our Movements on Shifting Ground, Alan Sears and James Cairns The federal election of 2011 drastically shifted the terrain of parliamentary politics in Canada. With 39.6% of the vote, Stephen Harper's Conservatives won 167 of 308 seats in Parliament, meaning that they will now rule with all the power that comes with a majority government.
May 11, 2011: NDP campaign platform analysis NDP Leader Jack Layton said he would deliver on several key social policy priorities for low and middle-income families during the first 100 days of taking office. [Interviews with Akaash Maharaj and Greg Albo were conducted early April.]
May 8, 2011: What the Election Outcome Means for Québec There are many things I could say about this nation-changing election, but since I'm a Québecer talking to an English Canadian audience, I want to stress that the routing of the Bloc Québécois should in no way be read as a sign of the waning of national aspirations in Québec...
May 8, 2011: How Would A Tory Majority Govern? Once more into the breach; well, at least, into the polling booth. The Harper Conservatives begin their quest to gain a majority government sporting numerous attributes, including money, organization, and five years in office.
May 6, 2011: Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Left in the Canadian Elections, Herman Rosenfeld The Activist caught up with Herman Rosenfeld, a member of the Socialist Project and the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly, in a wide ranging interview about Canada's recent elections and the prospects for the Left in Canada.
May 4, 2011: NDP, Liberals must eventually work it out For Canadians unnerved about a Stephen Harper majority government, two facts about Monday's election stand out. The first is that virtually all of the Conservative gains occurred in and around Toronto. Of the 24 new seats Harper won across Canada, 18 came from the Greater Toronto Area -- including nine from Toronto itself.
May 4, 2011: NDP Breaks Through But Tories Win Big NDP wins historic number of seats, creates conditions for Conservative Majority Government. Leo Panitch is interviewed by Paul Jay of the Real News Network.
May 3, 2011: Le NPD, outil de résistance? Propulsé par des libéraux en chute libre, les Conservateurs vont maintenant et pour les prochaines années imposer leur agenda de mesures annoncées dans le dernier budget Flaherty.
April 30, 2011, Bullet No. #496: Anti-Austerity Struggles and the Canadian Election The economic crisis that whipped across the advanced capitalist countries in 2007-09 has now moved into a phase of unprecedented government austerity. Rather than spelling the end of neoliberalism, the response to the crisis is intensifying its primary distributional and administrative norms.