You really have to laugh at Ed Broadbent’s attempts at resuscitating the moribund federal New Democratic Party. He seems to be the only person who believes you can do mouth-to-mouth life saving through a microphone.
Ed’s modestly named Broadbent Institute had a conference for Canada’s leftists last week in Ottawa. All we learned was that Ed did not like the recent Liberal government budget and he was pleased that Trudeau was not keeping his promises. He felt that was making room for a social democratic movement in Canada.
The Institute named its program ‘Change the Game.’ The problem was that it failed to name the game or to tell anyone the rules of the game.
Ed’s opening speech to the conference was a bit of a trip down memory lane. He is hardly old enough to remember Agnes Macphail, when she was the first woman elected to the House of Commons in 1921. He must have been about 19 when she died in 1954
But what he proves in events such as this and his usual remarks is that he and the New Democratic Party are out of date and out of touch with the long-term direction that Canada needs to take on the 21st Century.
It is like Babel-on-the-Bay has been waiting for the current NDP leadership race to come to life. The debates so far have been eulogies rather than directions. How can these people talk about being a social democratic party when they cannot even define what a social democratic party should be?
When some Toronto New Democrats put together their LEAP Manifesto, there was a brief hope. It proved to be naïve and lacking balance.
What should be very clear to the federal NDP membership by now is that Thomas Mulcair did not let them down in the last election. How could anyone expect a former Liberal from Quebec to lead a party in a crucial election that cannot define its own directions. Mulcair presented what he saw. Whose fault was that?
He only had his hard work in the House of Commons as Leader of the Opposition going for him in the election. To expect the voters to respond to the performance in the House was foolish. The party allowed the myth of the Orange Wave of 2011 to hide the organizational failure in Quebec.
Canada’s New Democrats have people with knowledge and understanding of Canadian politics. They should listen to them, not Ed Broadbent.
Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry
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