Our goal is nothing less than to build a movement for fundamental political change. Change in the face of the two big challenges of our time, growing inequality and climate change. This means rejecting the agenda that has brought us here. It is time to stand up to the billionaires, banks and corporations who are behind this agenda.
Either the NDP is simply another party supporting the economic and political status quo or it is so afraid of being called "radical" by the mainstream media that it self censors to the point of political blandness. NDP members are right to deride the ideas flowing from the Conservative leadership race, but they are wrong to dismiss it as a circus. The Conservatives' boldness and willingness to amplify their agenda is something the NDP should mimic.
The sooner NDP leadership candidates stand out, the faster they become a household name or a familiar face. For the good of the race and the growth of the party base, candidates need to move into competitive mode - and even "entertainment mode" - ASAP.
In an age when other national governments are beginning to wrestle with the growing inequities in our global economies, Justin Trudeau has emerged as the ultimate trickle-down cheerleader. He believes that if you look after those at the top of the economic food chain everyone will somehow make do.
Is the NDP establishment scared to have party members discuss Canada's international posture? At the party's first leadership debate last weekend there wasn't a single foreign policy question despite a host of contentious recent party positions on international affairs.
While Liberals continue with their failed Bobby McFerrin "Don't worry be happy" economic mantra, the data paints a different picture. In 2009 the number of Canadians who considered themselves working class or poor was 29 per cent. That number has since jumped to a stunning 44 per cent.
Listening to John speak and thoughtfully answering questions, you really did get a sense that he is just a regular guy who comes from humble beginnings, who at some point in his life decided that he wanted to make a positive difference. I for one am more then willing to give him that chance.
The Manitoba party establishment has inexplicably brought in a proposed series of changes that would give it some of the most restrictive membership and leadership processes of any NDP section in the country. The NDP cannot afford to disenfranchise anyone, and to do so is extremely shortsighted.
The reason why a candidate like Angus is so interesting is because the new conventional wisdom is that there is no conventional wisdom anymore. A self-described socialist almost won the nomination for president of the United States, and probably would have won if the party he ran under did not work tirelessly against him. So the prospect of a true left-leaning politician inspiring voters from various sub-political persuasions no longer seems so far fetched.
With two political leadership races underway, both of which at this point in time have put everyone to sleep, one can only hope that something happens to inject some life into them. We have had the first NDP leadership bid if you can call it that with the declared entry of Cheri DiNovo.
I'll remember the absolute grace and humility with which Tom Mulcair addressed the crowd following the vote, calling on us to leave the convention strong and united, and to focus on continuing to be the party that dreams no small dreams.
If Tom gets dumped on Sunday, I'll join that chorus because I can't think of anything more Liberal than filling our leader's back with knives, then throwing him under the bus. We will still be left with all the structural problems Tom inherited along with a host of new ones. I believe we need to be focused on fixing our party, on democratizing the crafting of our platform, on reconnecting our movement to our party, on weaning the central campaign off our riding rebates so we can effectively build riding associations and campaigns that can compete locally with the other parties.
This weekend, the NDP is meeting in Edmonton to decide their direction moving forward. Eugene Levy once complained about filming a season of SCTV in Edmonton because "It's Edmonton." While I'm sure it's a great city, this is a party who is dreading at the Big E. The election of the past year saw an early lead blown, notable key members of the party lose their seats in the House of Commons, and a third place finish for Tom Mulcair's rookie federal election run. As the NDP head to the Gateway to the North, it's time to begin paving the highway towards the future.
The most important thing is for the NDP to not limp along and slip into irrelevance, but to boldly rebuild. Canada needs the NDP. But it needs an NDP that is both inspiring and competent, visionary and responsible, principled and practical. The many dedicated NDP activists need to know what happens now. Where is the NDP headed and how do they fit in to the big picture? What are the concrete plans to rebuild? Which brings me to the leadership question. The Leader too has to share the blame and Tom Mulcair has acknowledged this.
What was supposed to be an exercise in showing how good the NDP could be at managing the public purse and proposing sensible, balanced policies turned into the usual radical, job-killing, tax-raising, disorganized chaos for which the left wing has always been known.
Whomever is in charge of event scheduling for the federal New Democrats ought to be fired today -- how in heavens did the NDP wind up holding its all-important policy convention on the same weekend the Liberals were to crown their new leader? Were Christmas eve and day already booked at the convention centre?