Ed Broadbent 1936-2024 R.I.P.

Written by  //  January 28, 2024  //  Canada  //  Comments Off on Ed Broadbent 1936-2024 R.I.P.

28 January
State Funeral of the Honourable Ed Broadbent
Funérailles d’État de l’honorable Ed Broadbent
Remarks by Jonathan Sas* & Luke Savage
Discours funéraire d’État d’Ed Broadbent par Jonathan Sas et Luke Savage
Jonathan Sas & Luke Savage are co-authors of ‘Seeking Social Democracy: Seven Decades in the Fight for Equality’ | Jonathan Sas et Luke Savage sont co-auteurs de « Seeking Social Democracy: Seven Decades in the Fight for Equality »
*Alumnus of the Sauvé Scholars Program

11 January
Ed Broadbent, former NDP leader, dead at 87
Oshawa-born stalwart helped bring party to the brink of an electoral breakthrough
(CBC) Longtime New Democratic Party leader Ed Broadbent, who moved the party further to the left and up in the polls, has died at 87.
The Broadbent Institute, which he founded, announced his death in a statement Thursday afternoon.
“Our country has lost a fierce champion for ordinary Canadians, an intellectual who strongly believed in building a good society,” the statement said. “Ed devoted decades of his life to fighting for justice and equality in Canada and around the world.”
John Edward Broadbent, a companion of the Order of Canada, was known to New Democrats as “Honest Ed,” “Mr. Decent” or simply “Ed,” Broadbent led the NDP for 14 years and through four elections — and even returned to the House of Commons later in life.
Statement on the passing of Ed Broadbent
Broadbent Institute
It is with the heaviest of hearts that the Broadbent Institute announces the passing of our founder, Ed Broadbent.
Our country has lost a fierce champion for ordinary Canadians, an intellectual who strongly believed in building a good society.
Ed devoted decades of his life to fighting for justice and equality in Canada and around the world. As a Member of Parliament, leader of the New Democratic Party, president of Rights & Democracy and beyond, he tirelessly advocated for all people, especially those on the margins of society.
A steadfast advocate for equal rights, Ed played a pivotal role in enshrining rights and liberties for all peoples in our country’s laws and constitution. He was a rare intellectual who could connect the challenges faced by ordinary citizens with the movements and institutions striving for economic democracy.
The Broadbent Institute celebrates Ed’s life and his immense contributions to our nation. We mourn the loss of a great Canadian.

‘Mentor, friend, champion’: Ed Broadbent remembered fondly by those who worked with him
Broadbent Institute announced the former leader’s death on Thursday; he was 87
Current NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Broadbent helped him “tremendously with his advice and encouragement” after he won the leadership in 2017.
“Whenever I asked anything of him — to talk through policy ideas, to help with a challenging political problem or to campaign with me — he always said ‘yes,'” Singh wrote in a media statement.
“I have often said that Ed was who I wanted to be when I grew up. He taught me about leadership and how to turn political principle into actions that helped improve the lives of Canadians.”
Bob Rae: Ed Broadbent ‘believed more than anything in human decency’
Brian Mulroney: Canadians should remember Ed Broadbent ‘with respect, affection and admiration’

Sauvé Fellow Jonathan Sas
I will have much more to say in the weeks ahead about my mentor, and my wonderful friend—the singular Ed Broadbent.
Ed’s integrity, his decency and kindness, have dominated as themes in the outpouring of admiration from across the spectrum since news of his passing. It is recognition he deserves. But in the wake of this sudden loss, I’m being carried by the currents that most shaped me: Ed’s principled and grounded democratic socialism, and his earnest belief that ordinary people were a motive force in social change; that they knew things he did not.
Ed understood that markets inevitably create inequities, disadvantaging some and giving outstretched power to others. He never wavered in his conviction that these inequities had to be constantly countered; by redistribution, yes, but also by taking things out of the market— decommodification that would carve out rights to healthcare, to dignified pensions, to eduction, and to housing for all as rights of citizenship. Only this could help liberate people to pursue their individual and collective flourishing.
For Ed, political and civil rights were never enough. Democracy required worker rights and strong unions to enable economic democracy and effective control over decisions that affected workers where they spend the majority of their time…. in their workplaces. His rejection of the neoliberal obsession with deregulation, privatization, and a narrow economistic view of life were like a tonic for me and many in my disillusioned generation.
Ed was also a deeply committed internationalist. I want to share a passage from an article he published in the Globe and Mail in 1986, just as he was becoming the most popular leader in the country. A time when many leaders of social democratic parties in the global north were retreating from their convictions. Not Ed…
“The world of a politician is a world of light and shadow. Never merely pragmatic, it is always moral.For us in the international social democratic movement there has always been the difficulty of reconciling certain universal principles with their application in a variety of countries with widely divergent histories.
It is a problem, it is difficult — but it must be done.
We apply the principles of equality, liberty and economic justice constantly within our own nations, of course; this is a difficulty we take for granted. But just as we must make critical judgments at home, so, too, must we when we look at other countries.
Cultural and historical differences must certainly be taken into account, but they never absolve us of the obligation to judge, decide and act. When we talk about democracy, pluralism, religious freedom, tolerance, human rights and self-determination, we are not giving voice to mere abstractions relevant only to a few nations; we are talking about human values and ideals that we believe desirable for all people, at all times, in all parts of our world. “

10 October 2023
Seeking Social Democracy: Seven Decades in the Fight for Equality
by Edward Broadbent, Frances Abele, Jonathan Sas, Luke Savage
The first full-length treatment of Ed Broadbent’s ideas and remarkable seven-decade engagement in public life
Part memoir, part history, part political manifesto, Seeking Social Democracy offers the first full-length treatment of Ed Broadbent’s ideas and remarkable seven-decade engagement in public life. In dialogue with three collaborators from different generations, Broadbent leads readers through a life spent fighting for equality in Parliament and beyond: exploring the formation of his social democratic ideals, his engagement on the international stage, and his relationships with historical figures from Pierre Trudeau and Fidel Castro to Tommy Douglas, René Lévesque, and Willy Brandt. From the formative minority Parliament of 1972–1974 to the contentious national debate over Canada’s constitution to the free trade election of 1988, the book chronicles the life and thought of one of Canada’s most respected political leaders and public intellectuals from his childhood in 1930s Oshawa to the present day. Broadbent’s analysis also points toward the future, offering lessons to a new generation on how principles can inform action and social democracy can look beyond neoliberalism. The result is an engaging, timely, and sweeping analysis of Canadian politics, philosophy, and the nature of democratic leadership.

Comments are closed.