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Nova Scotia NDP defeated: The perils of “moderation”

ndp ns dexterNova Scotia's first NDP government has gone down to an overwhelming defeat, falling to just seven seats and a third-place standing in Nova Scotia's legislature. Outgoing premier Darrell Dexter has promised a far-reaching introspection to find the reasons for the defeat, but when one looks at the present situation facing ordinary Nova Scotians, the fact is that the Dexter NDP government ultimately failed to bring about the change expected (and demanded) by youth and workers.  This should send a message to the federal NDP on the dangers of moving to the right.

 

Linda McQuaig wins Toronto-Centre NDP nomination: A victory for the left

ndp linda mcquigOn 15th September, hundreds of New Democrats attended the NDP nomination meeting for the upcoming by-election in Toronto-Centre. The exciting nomination race was between three candidates: Jennifer Hollett, Linda McQuaig, and Susan Gapka. Linda McQuaig, a well-known writer and journalist, won the nomination race to enormous applause. Linda’s vocal challenge against inequality and “the austerity agenda” makes her nomination an important victory for the left-wing of the NDP.

 

A socialist view from the 2013 federal NDP convention floor

ndp mulcair convention2013With the watering down of the federal NDP constitution the party has taken a step to the right at its Montreal convention. This step mirrors similar developments within the social-democratic labour parties internationally, and is a tragic irony given the ongoing crisis of capitalism. However, disappointing as it is, the removal of a constitutional preamble that nobody had ever read does not fundamentally change the character of the NDP. Because of the crisis, mass movements are inevitable; these in turn will have their reflection in the mass organizations.

 

 

Why the NDP needs to guard, and not discard, socialism in the party

austerity failingIt is quite telling when the main mouthpiece of the Canadian capitalists, the Globe and Mail, is adamantly supporting the discarding of socialism from the NDP constitution. The demands made by the corporate press to “modernize” the NDP’s constitution are not meant to increase the party’s base; instead, it is an attempt to neuter the NDP and to make sure that a future NDP government would be complicit in the bosses’ attacks and austerity. It is precisely now that the NDP should not discard, but guard at all costs, socialism in the party.

 

NDP federal convention 2013: Socialism or austerity?

austerity failingAs delegates gather in Montreal for the federal New Democratic Party’s first policy convention since the death of Jack Layton, they face some important choices. After Thomas Mulcair assumed leadership of the party, all sights are set on defeating the Stephen Harper Conservatives in the 2015 federal election. This convention sets the stage for how that fight will be won or lost, and what kind of government will the NDP form if it gains power.

 

NDP constitution: Defend Social Ownership, Defend Socialism

people not profitThe Constitution Committee of the federal NDP has proposed a rewrite of the preamble to the party’s constitution. The new wording is supposedly a compromise, after the right-wing of the party was defeated in 2011 when it tried to remove all references to socialism. However, this new amendment is no compromise at all and marks a significant turn to the right. “Socialism” is relegated to the past in a tokenistic fashion. Most notably, sections on social ownership are removed and replaced with the primacy of the market. This is a bitter irony, precisely when “the market” is showing its abject failure globally, and in Canada. Removal of the defence of social ownership also opens up the party to supporting the privatization of public services. Delegates must reject this rightward shift.

 

Saskatchewan NDP looks to re-build in leadership race

saskatchewan ndp logoOn March 9, Saskatchewan New Democrats will vote to elect their next leader. Whichever candidate ends up taking the reins will face an uphill battle to restore the provincial party’s fortunes. Far from the glory days of Tommy Douglas, the Saskatchewan NDP now finds itself in electoral dire straits, winning a paltry nine seats in the 2011 provincial election. Although the worst effects of the capitalist crisis may not be immediately evident in Saskatchewan, the province’s working class has not been immune from attack. We need a party, and a leadership, that isn’t afraid to answer that age-old question: “Which side are you on?”

 

One year after Jack Layton's death

Today marks one year since former NDP leader Jack Layton passed away.  We are re-publishing our obituary to Jack, which covers his accomplishments while not sugar-coating his errors.  Oliver Cromwell once directed his portrait artist, "Paint me as I am -- warts and all!"  We believe that to truly honour Jack's legacy, we have to continue the struggle for a hopeful, optimistic, and socialist world.

Ontario NDP convention: Divisions emerge over Ontario austerity budget

The Ontario New Democratic Party (ONDP) held its biennial convention in mid-April at the Hamilton Convention Centre. The conference of about 1,000 New Democratic delegates was held in the shadow of the Ontario provincial budget which, even before the meeting began, was already becoming a source of tension between various factions within the party. Party leader Andrea Horwath has been under enormous pressure from the press and from big business to vote in favour of the austerity budget being presented by Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal minority government.

After Mulcair's victory, build a mass left wing to save the NDP

Thomas Mulcair, the former Quebec Liberal and so-called “modernizer”, has been elected leader of the federal New Democratic Party. He gained 57% of the vote on the fourth and final ballot, defeating six other candidates in the process. Many in the party fear that he will take the same route as former British Labour leader Tony Blair. However, this will not be easy for him. There is little enthusiasm for Mulcair in the party and only 50% of the membership found a reason to vote for any of the candidates. The reality is that there were very few ideas discussed in the campaign and Mulcair’s victory was no way inevitable. A genuinely left-wing candidate could have galvanized the rank-and-file and defeated this turn to the right.

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