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Monday, March 26, 2012

NDP jettison socialist principles and values to elect liberal Mulcair

The Quebec wing of the NDP has executed a bloodless coup by winning the leadership of Canada’s socialist party and effectively ousting the unions-first old guard. The challenge now will be holding onto the reins of power without the direct, overt support of most of the party’s establishment.

In what National Post’s Andrew Coyne calls “something of a hostile takeover,” the NDP has denied itself leadership from its trade union base at the very time its stronghold in the public sector is about to be assaulted by the government of Stephen Harper.

Ever the pragmatist, Mulcair is far more likely to be swayed by public opinion, which is not overly sympathetic to public sector unions, than, say, Brian Topp or Peggy Nash. He does not strike me as having the single-mindedness of either of those trade unionists or the loyalty they have to the union movement.

By all accounts, Mulcair—at best, a soft socialist with few, if any, of the loyalties and the cultural affinities to the roots of the NDP—wants to remake the party in his own image, i.e., as a party of the centre-left.

Will he want to alienate much of the Canadian population by being too sympathetic to the cause of a public sector that has lived high of the public hog while so many others have suffered through one of the nations worst recessions?

I doubt it, but we’ll see how well he manages his first test, Thursday’s federal budget. Failure here will precipitate the first round of buyers remorse on the part of members of the NDP establishment who did back the new leader.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

 

2 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. We'll see how Mulcair re-writes NDP policy, but it won't take him long to snuggle up to the unions. They are the primary facet of the NDP's ground game.

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  2. i predict the liberal party of canada shifts even further left to become the party of labour. Many of the disgruntled `old guard` ndpers will defect to the LPC and take up the socialism banner under a pro-union leader such as Dalton Mcguinty. Where else can they go?

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