Yes, you can bet the rent money on Leap.

One of our favourite bloggers insists that you should not bet the rent money on the Leap Manifesto. While agreeing that no gambler should ever bet the rent money, we will take that bet. Despite the naysayer being one of the best read and erudite of left of centre Canadian bloggers, he might lack our insight into the New Democratic Party activists behind the Leap Manifesto.

Leap has its roots deep in the Toronto NDP environment. It is a reasoned and rational answer to where the party was being lead in last year’s election. They held their indignation in check. There are no sour grapes or grapes of wrath. It rejects recriminations and looks only to the party’s future. It is positive and trusting in its direction to handling our country’s needs.

These are the same people who wanted to rebel against Andrea Horwath in the last Ontario election but eased up in sympathy for her weaknesses and lack of an adequate claim on power.

It was not until they saw Thomas Mulcair make the same mistakes in 2015 that they knew something had to be done. Mulcair put power ahead of principles and destroyed the base that the party had built with Jack layton. And they set out to annunciate the party’s needed direction.

As we have mentioned before, the Leap Manifesto does away with the bitterness and anger of the last century’s Regina Manifesto. It posits objectives instead of demands.

It is easy to picture Avi Lewis and his wife Naomi Klein sitting in his mother’s kitchen discussing the manifesto. It is not obvious what encouragement she gave but Michele Landsberg would have been with them every step of the way. The journalist, author would have had excellent suggestions and, along with husband Stephen Lewis, would have had excellent strategic advice.

The manifesto was already available on the Internet and well supported when brought to the recent Edmonton NDP Convention. The strategy was just to propose study by ridings and discussion over the next two years. This is no Trotskyite or Waffle strategy. It forces a decision on the manifesto on every candidate for the party leadership at the time and you can expect that the new party leader, whomever he or she is, will already be totally committed to the Leap Manifesto and its implications for the party.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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