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Jagmeet Singh wins the NDP leadership; What does this mean?

Confounding the polls, Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh won a commanding first ballot victory in the 2017 NDP leadership race. He gained 35,266 votes, 53.8% of the total, compared with 12,705 (19.4%) for Charlie Angus, 11,374 (17.4%) for Niki Ashton, and 6,164 (9.4%) for Guy Caron. This is a disappointing result for the left who had hoped that a Niki Ashton victory would represent a continuation of the international Corbyn/Sanders movement in Canada. What does the victory of Singh mean going forward?

Niki Ashton or bust! No second preference. Continue the fight.

Fightback is supporting Niki Ashton in the NDP leadership race as the best opportunity to advance socialist ideas within the party. But as NDP members receive their leadership voting ballots, many are considering who to place as second preference. Fightback is recommending that those who have been enthused by Ashton’s candidacy, and who want to fight for socialism, do not issue a second preference in the vote. Instead, make a clear statement and continue the fight for socialist ideas inside and outside the party.

NDP Leadership Race Buries Mulcair Legacy

ndp leadership first debateAlmost a year and a half after the Federal NDP’s disappointing election result, the party leadership race has begun in earnest. Four candidates have declared so far: Niki Ashton, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron, and Peter Julian. What is notable is that at the March 12th leadership debate none of the candidates defended the Mulcair legacy of moving the party to the right, and all appeared to be turning towards the left to some degree or another. This represents an interesting dynamic and is reflective of broader class polarization and radicalization in society.

Alberta NDP Under Attack Over Carbon Tax

Notley ClimateSince toppling the 44-year Progressive Conservative dynasty in Alberta, Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP have been subject to constant and rabid abuse. The Tories and the corporate media have yet to recover from the shock of being robbed of what they thought was their God-given right to rule. The latest anti-NDP craze is around the issue of the recently passed carbon tax legislation. On Saturday November 4th, thousands were mobilized across Alberta by right-wing forces to oppose this legislation.

NDP Loses Power in Manitoba: Enough with Defeat!

greg selingerAfter almost 17 years in power, the Manitoba NDP have been handed a pink slip by voters. The recent provincial election has resulted in the NDP's seats being reduced by more than half in the province, and a Progressive Conservative majority government being formed in its stead. Once again, yet another NDP government is being forced to learn the consequences of moderation and betrayal.

NDP Convention 2016: Rank-and-file revolt turfs Mulcair

edm ndp nationalconventionFederal 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. As the CBC pointed out, “To put this into context the last time a major federal party leader lost a leadership review was Joe Clark in 1983. Joe Clark got 67 per cent support.” This is a solid defeat for the bureaucracy, visited upon them by a rank-and-file revolt against the failed rightward turn of the party.

Saskatchewan election loss marks latest debacle for NDP

cam stoten smashIf the definition of insanity, to quote a statement popularly misattributed to Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results, the leadership of the provincial and federal NDP (with the possible exception of Nova Scotia) is in dire straits. The party suffered its latest humiliating defeat on April 4 in the Saskatchewan provincial election, which returned Premier Brad Wall to power with a third majority government for the Saskatchewan Party. Mirroring similar debacles for the NDP across Canada, the party’s latest loss ironically comes at a time when voters are increasingly open to socialist ideas. But in the absence of a bold socialist alternative, the status quo tends to prevail, as illustrated by Wall’s resounding victory.

Gary “Bernie Sanders” Burrill wins Nova Scotia NDP leadership

gary burrill new ndp leaderOn Saturday, February 27th, members of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party elected a new leader. Standing MLA and favourite Dave Wilson and MLA Lenore Zann were defeated by Gary Burrill. Burrill ran a left-wing, anti-austerity campaign which echoed with party members. Burrill committed himself to the “elimination of poverty and income inequality” and in many ways mirrored the messaging from the campaign of Bernie Sanders in the United States. He railed against the “1%”, promised to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour and committed to eliminate tuition fees. This enthused party members and led to a surge in party membership and record voter turnout of 74.2 per cent. The election of Burrill represents an earthquake inside the NSNDP.

NDP Convention 2016: Socialism or Bust

socialism or bustAs delegates gather for the 2016 Federal NDP Convention in Edmonton, everybody is discussing whether party leader Tom Mulcair will survive a leadership review. As important as this question is, what is far more important is what direction the party as a whole takes in the coming years. Greek mythology speaks of a many-headed serpent, the Hydra. Lopping off the head of the Hydra did not vanquish the beast – which merely grew back another. Similarly, simply changing the head of the NDP will not automatically allow the party to connect with the discontent in society. For that, we need to replace the entire bureaucratic clique that moved the party to the right, and build a new body based on the mass input of workers and youth.

Fightback Interviews Ontario NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo: “Turning left is a question of life or death”

cheri de novoWorkers and youth in Canada are looking for an alternative to austerity and capitalist crisis, and failing to provide one cost the NDP the 2015 federal election. Fightback recently sat down with Cheri DiNovo, provincial MPP for Parkdale-High Park, who has publicly called for federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair to step down for his role in the loss, to discuss the direction of the party. DiNovo started by highlighting the contrast between the bold politics of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, and the uninspiring talk of “balanced budgets” that dominated the federal NDP campaign (which during a time of capitalist crisis really means more austerity). “That contrast is so dramatic that people are starting to wake up,” said DiNovo.

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