Canada: NDP post-2015 election

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Jagmeet Singh wins leadership of federal NDP on first ballot
Singh took 35,266 of the 65,782 votes cast on first ballot
The Ontario provincial politician beat northern Ontario MP Charlie Angus who won 12,705 votes, Manitoba MP Niki Ashton who won 11,374 votes and Quebec MP Guy Caron who won 6,164 votes to claim the federal NDP’s top job.
Speaking after his election win, Singh said the party owed a debt to the former leader Tom Mulcair who Singh credited with helping the party through a difficult time after the passing of Jack Layton.

21 September
Your Complete Cheat Sheet To The NDP Leadership Race
The party chooses a leader to replace Tom Mulcair this October. Here’s a look at who’s running and what’s at stake.
(Chatelaine) The party’s goal now is to return to prominence as the voice of the left, win back some power in the House of Commons in 2019 and ideally help knock the Liberals down to a minority government. It’s aiming to gain ground with young people, women and the LGBTQ community — votes that Justin Trudeau’s Liberals largely owned in 2015.
The four candidates are talking about a wide range of issues on the campaign trail — everything from identity politics to racial injustice, reconciliation for Indigenous peoples, climate change, opposition to pipelines, and guaranteed basic income as well as plenty of talk about nationalizing minimum wage and policies to address violence against women.

14 March
The accidental takedown of the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair
One year after disparate forces unwittingly combined to knife the NDP leader, New Democrats are still searching for answers.
(Toronto Star) A stunned silence blanketed the room at the Edmonton convention centre. Did they hear that right?
The vote was 52 to 48 for a leadership review. Thomas Mulcair had lost his bid to lead the New Democrats into the 2019 election.
A small group cheered, but mostly people just milled around, exchanging shocked glances, trying to make sense of what just happened. A visibly shaken Mulcair took the stage, flanked by the NDP caucus, and managed a few words.
One year after that Sunday morning, New Democrats are still trying to make sense of what happened that weekend at the Edmonton NDP convention. And it’s not just historical curiosity driving the soul searching — understanding the forces that combined to take down Mulcair will be crucial for whoever ends up replacing him.

NDP Canada

NDP word cloud

2016

10 June
NDP needs more than new leader to win back support stolen by the Liberals: Chris Hall
Official start of leadership race 3 weeks away and still no official candidates have signed up
Start with the potential candidates who’ve indicated they won’t be running. All of them capable. All of them with the kind of name recognition a leadership race needs.
NDP sets leadership convention for fall of 2017
ANALYSIS| Keeping Tom Mulcair may have been safer bet for NDP, history suggests
There’s Nathan Cullen, the popular British Columbia MP who ruled himself out a week ago. Then there’s Brian Topp, chief of staff to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who finished second to Mulcair four years ago.
And finally, Megan Leslie, the former MP from Halifax who lost her seat but not her standing inside the party.

20 April
Brian Pallister’s PCs win majority government in Manitoba
Tories end NDP’s 17-year reign; Greg Selinger offers resignation

16 April
Manitoba vote could bring big win for conservatives — and another NDP loss
NDP facing ‘tough times’ across the country, political scientist says ahead of Tuesday’s vote
[Conservative Leader Brian] Pallister, a former Canadian Alliance member of Parliament, and his provincial Tories appear poised to do some serious electoral damage to a NDP government that has been in power in Manitoba for 16 years and has spent much of the last few years caught up in internal party battles.
Will this ‘latte-swilling’ Toronto power couple save or doom the NDP?
Like it or not – and the pair have spent the past week playing down their role – Ms. Klein, 45, and Mr. Lewis, 48, have become the face of the faction that would yank the New Democrats, a party searching for purpose after a devastating election result, sharply to the left. The heart of the controversy is the Leap Manifesto, an “aspirational” document signed by some of Canada’s biggest celebrities and public intellectuals that outlines a vision of a Canadian economy built on investments in social programs, respect for indigenous people, clean energy – and a moratorium on pipelines.
The Leap Manifesto was written collaboratively at a meeting of environmental, indigenous, social justice and union groups in Toronto last May. But make no mistake: It is the brainchild of Ms. Klein and Mr. Lewis, a direct result of their most recent collaboration, the movie This Changes Everything, based on the book by Ms. Klein. But last weekend also represents an unprecedented leap directly into the political sphere, an arena both have long rejected as a place for radical change. Mr. Lewis, especially, is no longer a protester at the door; while Ms. Klein followed the convention from afar, he was the one sprinting to the microphone early Sunday morning to grab the first spot to speak in favour of the resolution.

12 April
Lawrence Martin: NDP’s Leap is the Waffle reborn
The party left Edmonton in worse shape than on arriving there. There is no eminent heir apparent. The New Democrat who takes the leader’s job will face enormous hurdles – a governing Liberal Party that occupies a good deal of ground on the left; an NDP that is now more divided than in decades; a manifesto that would put the party in a zone on the political spectrum that has never sniffed power.
(Globe & Mail) Remember the Waffle, the splinter group of arm-flapping ideologues who became a major force in the NDP in 1969? The Waffle’s formation followed a disappointing performance by the party in the 1968 federal election, in which it had been outflanked by Pierre Trudeau with his advocacy of a just society.
The Waffle group tore the NDP into two factions. Its guiding document was a Manifesto for an Independent Socialist Canada free of American economic domination. Waffle candidate James Laxer came close to winning the party leadership in 1971. A rising NDP star at the time was Stephen Lewis, who opposed the Waffle along with his father, David Lewis, who became party leader.
Today, the NDP has a new Waffle to stir the pot.
Aaron Wherry: Tom Mulcair, beaten and rejected, stands tall in House
Commons sketch: 2 days after his party voted against him, NDP leader gets a standing ovation
“He is an imperfect politician, but he was perhaps a model of what the government’s chief critic should be: easily unsatisfied, often fastidious and square-shouldered, well-suited to wearing and projecting furious indignation. But that is apparently not enough.” …
“(Stanley Knowles, the semi-legendary New Democrat MP, was made an honorary officer of Parliament when he retired. Perhaps Mulcair could be made an honorary opposition leader, called on whenever the prime minister is particularly deserving of castigation.)”

11 April
The Leap Manifesto: What is it, and what could it mean for the NDP’s future?
As the New Democratic Party debate how to move forward in a post-Mulcair future, one proposal is calling for a dramatic shift to the left and a harder opposition to the use of fossil fuels. Here’s what the Leap Manifesto proposes, who’s behind it and what might happen next
(Globe & Mail)The Leap Manifesto is a document that calls for a radical restructuring of the economy as Canada swiftly moves toward ending the use of fossil fuels. It was released last September in the midst of the federal election campaign.
The Leap Manifesto was released during a campaign when NDP Leader Tom Mulcair was touting his party as a moderate, pragmatic alternative to the Conservatives, promising to balance the federal budget, to hike no taxes other than a “slight and graduated” increase in the corporate tax rate, to sustainably develop Alberta’s oil sands and to be open to free trade deals. It was a cautious agenda that was soundly rejected on Oct. 19, with the NDP finishing a distant third.
Critics have accused Mr. Mulcair’s NDP of straying into the political centre and letting the Liberals outflank them on the left. Leap proposes to shift the party even further left to gain a possible advantage in the next election.

10 April
Rejecting Mulcair, NDP delegates vote in favour of new leadership race
New Democrats cast ballots after federal NDP leader made final ‘stand with me’ appeal
Delegates voted 52 per cent to 48 per cent to proceed with the leadership election.
Though Mulcair indicated he would stay on until his successor is chosen — in a separate vote, New Democrats gave themselves two years to select a new leader — his time as leader of the NDP effectively ended Sunday afternoon, just over four years after he took the party helm
Campbell Clark: Tom Mulcair caught in crossfire between activists and Albertans
Tom Mulcair’s last chances just kept going wrong. The NDP Leader needed to win New Democrats over in the week before Sunday’s leadership review. Instead, he lost more of them.
He got caught in a crossfire between his party’s activists and its Albertans – and both turned against him.
The site of the NDP convention turned out to be deadly: When he tried to appeal to leftist activists opposed to oil pipelines, he angered the new power in the party, Rachel Notley’s Alberta NDP. And 345 Alberta New Democrats happened to be just a short drive away from a vote against him.
Writing was on the wall for Mulcair: Hébert
Even before they summarily terminated Mulcair’s tenure, it was clear that scores of New Democrats had travelled to Edmonton to do just that.
The fix was in for outgoing NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair before the convention that led to Sunday’s vote even opened.
The writing was on the wall when twice as many delegates than had originally been expected showed up.
Even before they summarily terminated Mulcair’s tenure, it was clear that scores of New Democrats had travelled to Edmonton to do just that.
Even if he had delivered a speech for the history books, he would have changed few minds. Predictably a text designed to please everyone essentially ended up pleasing no one.
It did not help that by the time Mulcair finally spoke, two speakers — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and former Ontario leader Stephen Lewis — had significantly raised the bar he would have had to reach to score a hit.
Theirs are the speeches this convention will be remembered for. About the only feature they had in common was that they each barely mentioned Mulcair in passing.
Notley laid out the stakes for her province and her government in the pipeline debate, calling in no uncertain terms on the New Democrats to support efforts to get more oil to tidewater.
Never in the federal party’s history had a speaker so bluntly and so openly defended Alberta’s oilsands and rarely had so many delegates from Alberta attended a national convention.
In rebuttal, Lewis offered as eloquent a defence of the need to repudiate the fossil fuels industry to transition to a clean-air economy as anyone in the party could have delivered.
At this convention Lewis’ pleas carried the day.
stephen-lewis-at-ndp-convention-2016-04-09Stephen Lewis, “insufferably buoyant”: NDP convention keynote, Edmonton 2016 (Full Text)
I must admit, as I launch into my remarks, that this is a difficult speech to make. I’m not at all sure that I’ve gauged the atmosphere accurately. I want to set out, very selectively — I say selectively because you can’t possibly cover everything — a number of issues where the approach, the analysis, the policy of the NDP differs profoundly from that of the Liberal Government. This isn’t a matter of some minute repositioning of the NDP to the left of the Liberals. This is a matter of fundamentals. We differ from the liberals on so many issues in so many ways that there’s a world to conquer. I don’t get this stuff about the blurring and meshing of the so-called centre-left.
Allow me, on your behalf, to count some of the ways.
NDP icon Stephen Lewis skewers Justin Trudeau and the Liberals for six policy shortcomings
Former Ontario provincial NDP leader Stephen Lewis outlined six reasons why he’s feeling “ebullient” about his party’s prospects against Justin Trudeau.
Neil Macdonald: In masterful oration, Stephen Lewis reminds NDP convention what left-wing means
Anyone who’s ever covered Lewis knows his polemical abilities; no phony anger, no condescending vulgarity, no gauzy platitudes, no wheedling. His speeches are beautifully crafted mixtures of magniloquence and startling bluntness, combined for maximum rhetorical impact. He is probably Canada’s greatest living orator.
That’s not to say it wasn’t a partisan speech. It was. Was it ever.
Leap Manifesto: NDP agrees to explore staunch stance on fossil fuels
Document declares Canada’s record on climate change to be ‘a crime against humanity’s future’
Federal New Democrats spurned the pleas of their Alberta brethren and signalled a desire to shift their party’s politics on Sunday by agreeing to explore the merits of a manifesto that calls for more drastic action to combat climate change. Avi Lewis wants Liberal government to adopt parts of Leap Manifesto — Lewis says he wants Leap Manifesto principles to be ‘law of the land’
NDP in need of new direction as party moves to replace Tom Mulcair
The weekend was marked by increasing tension between climate-change activists and a vocal Alberta delegation that included NDP Premier Rachel Notley.
After fumbling an opportunity to distance himself from comments supporting a pipeline ban, Mr. Mulcair found himself in a furious debate over the Leap Manifesto, a proposal to ween Canada off fossil fuels and reject new energy projects. Alberta delegates resoundingly rejected the document.

8 April
NDP delegates divided on Mulcair ahead of leadership review
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair spent the first day at his party’s convention working the room and meeting with members in a last-ditch attempt to drum up enough support to survive a leadership review on Sunday.
While some within the party believe Mr. Mulcair can win 70 per cent of the vote or more, other insiders do not think he will score much more than 55 or 60 per cent when the almost 1,800 delegates attending the convention cast their ballots.

19 March
(Maclean’s) Ian Capstick, an Ottawa-based consultant and longtime New Democrat, launched a recent wave of speculation about NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s future when he told The Hill Times that Mulcair faces “the fight of his life” at an upcoming leadership review. Mulcair’s week got worse when 37 Quebec-based party activists called for renewal within their party. That group includes former MP Jamie Nicholls, who spoke to Cormac about what’s next for the NDP.

18 March
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair faces negative rumblings in advance of party convention
(Straight) … two NDP caucus veterans, Niki Ashton and Charlie Angus, have sidestepped reporters’ questions about whether they’ll support Mulcair at the NDP convention, which runs from April 8 to 10.
Ashton, who represents Churchill, ran for NDP leader in 2012, finishing seventh.
Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay, says he’ll remain neutral because he’s the party’s caucus chair.

17 March
Is Tom Mulcair’s continuing leadership of the NDP in doubt? The At Issue panel shares their thoughts

15 March
‘Mulcair must go,’ say NDP supporters at McGill, Concordia universities
Students say today’s open letter published in Le Devoir, Toronto Star doesn’t express their anger and despair
(CBC) New Democrats at the two universities issued a joint open letter Tuesday as a response to the open letter published earlier in the day in Le Devoir and the Toronto Star, calling for a more softly worded “renewal” of the NDP party.
They said they welcomed that letter, “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.”
“We choose not to mince our words,” NDP McGill and NDP Concordia stated. “If the NDP wants to remain relevant in Canadian politics, Thomas Mulcair must not remain as party leader.”

They said under Mulcair’s leadership, the party abandoned core NDP values “in a misguided attempt to appeal to centrist voters
“Their misguided choices meant that students — on campuses that have some of the most progressive young people in the country — were forced to argue against the legalization of marijuana, against higher taxes for Canada’s wealthy individuals, against massive investments in infrastructure and youth employment, as well as both for and against the Energy East pipeline.”

23 February
Andrew Coyne: Can Thomas Mulcair admit he might have been his own worst mistake?
… The problem may not be that he signed off on the wrong strategy or took the party too far to the right or, as he has lately tried to maintain, because of his position on the niqab. It may simply be that, on a personal level, he does not connect with Canadians — not, at any rate, on a par with Justin Trudeau.
… in a leadership review there is no need for any would-be successor to take the risk of challenging him openly. All that is necessary is to wound him sufficiently — then watch him bleed to death.
Indeed, while there have been few explicit calls for his resignation — Ontario MPP Cheri DiNovo is perhaps the most prominent critic — neither has there been a rush to endorse him among the party’s leading figures. The sense one gets is that many in the party had been quietly hoping he would step down of his own accord. But now that he has expressed a desire to stay, both leader and party may be in for a nasty and debilitating fight.

17 February
Conservative, NDP candidates ramped up ad spending in final weeks of election in face of increasing Liberal support: expense reports
(Hill Times) From Oct. 1 to voting day, former NDP MP Paul Dewar’s campaign spent more than $55,000 on advertising, including $28,000 for radio and TV ads. When Mr. Dewar easily brushed off challengers by capturing 52 per cent of the vote in the riding in 2011, he spent only $3,440 on radio and television advertising and $29,000 on brochures, handouts and newspaper placements.

11 February
Paul Dewar: It’s time to build the proposed National Aboriginal Centre
Let’s stop quibbling about the monument to victims of communism and ask the real question: Should we have such a monument in our capital? I think not.
As Ottawa Centre’s former NDP MP, I had to file an access to information request to learn that the depth and breadth of consultation conducted by the former Conservative government. The process to change the original location involved then-ministers Jason Kenny and John Baird writing to their colleague Rona Ambrose, at the time minister of public works.
If you don’t feel yourself represented in a consultation composed of three Conservatives sending notes to each other, you’re not alone. After all, they missed the point.

9 February
NDP’s ‘Cautious Change’ During 2015 Election Didn’t Resonate: Internal Report
(Canadian Press) The NDP’s last federal election campaign lacked a strong and simple narrative to grab the attention of voters thirsty for change, say interim findings unearthed during a painful post-mortem.
As the Liberals campaigned on “real change,” the NDP presented “cautious change” that was out of sync with people’s desire for a dramatic break from the Conservatives, according to a note distributed Tuesday by party president Rebecca Blaikie.
“Our balanced budget pledge was, in part, responsible for presenting us as cautious change,” Blaikie’s note said.

18 January
Mulcair ‘taking nothing for granted’ in NDP leadership vote
NDP leader says he’s trying to re-engage with grass roots after bitter electoral losses — and before they vote on his future.
(TorStar) The NDP leader has been the target of criticism — some on the record, most anonymous — after October’s disappointing election results dropped the party from official Opposition to third place.
Mulcair said he understood the frustration. But he said that when the party holds its convention in Edmonton this April, he intends to show that he’s learned lessons from the campaign.
“I don’t think that anybody in the party is expecting a plan for the 2019 election to be given in Edmonton in 2016,” Mulcair said. “But what I do think that they’re expecting is that we learned the lessons of 2015 . . . . We haven’t made it to the cup final very often as a party, and I can tell you that we all learned a heck of a lot from that last exercise.”

2015

26 October
Outgoing NDP MP Paul Dewar named party’s senior transition adviser
(CBC) NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has appointed defeated Ottawa MP Paul Dewar to help reorganize the party in the wake of last Monday’s disappointing election results.
Dewar’s mandate, announced Friday during a caucus conference call, will include guiding the NDP in staffing and reorganization both at the party level and inside the parliamentary wing.
NDP insiders say the caucus responded positively to the decision due to Dewar’s positive rapport in and outside the party.

21 October
NDP left looking for answers after crushing collapse in support
Tom Mulcair will find it harder to discipline and silence critics within the party’s ranks and grassroots

20 October
For the Conservatives and New Democratic Party, Monday night was a bloodbath.
Powerful cabinet ministers fell across the country, and New Democrat stalwarts – including the deputy leader – were swept out of office by Justin Trudeau’s red tide.
On the NDP side, some of the party’s longest-serving MPs were thrown out the door, the party was on track to lose every seat in Toronto, and even Leader Tom Mulcair was in a tough re-election fight in his Quebec riding of Outremont. …
Megan Leslie: The NDP’s deputy leader and the most powerful member of the party’s younger generation, Ms. Leslie’s loss in Halifax is a serious blow to the NDP’s rebuilding efforts. It is also an indication of the magnitude of Mr. Trudeau’s victory and the other parties’ losses: Halifax had been an NDP stronghold, formerly the seat of ex-leader Alexa McDonough. Also among the first NDP candidates to go down to defeat Monday was Peter Stoffer, one of the NDP’s longest-serving MPs, who was felled in Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook, a riding of suburbs and small towns ringing Halifax. Olivia Chow: The former Toronto MP who stepped down in 2014 to launch an unsuccessful mayoral bid, fell short in her bid to return to the Commons. Adam Vaughan, who won her old seat in a by-election for the Liberals, soundly defeated Ms. Chow in Spadina-Fort YorkPaul Dewar: The NDP’s foreign affairs critic and one of its most prominent MPs, Mr. Dewar was on track to lose Ottawa Centre to Liberal Catherine Mary McKenna. The high-profile winners and losers of the federal election

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