Today's discussion:

The NDP don’t take themselves seriously, so why should we?

The point of Canada’s federal NDP seems not to be to win, nor even to advance a narrow cause. It seems simply to exist for its own sake, occasionally finding comfort in passing party policy resolutions that read like half-baked social studies masters’ theses.

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Comments (20)

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Kim Morton

The NDP has not represented ordinary working people for decades. They represent champagne socialists and government employees. Consider the Provincial wings as farm league Federal party as they same people are in control and indeed they walk in lockstep. A party that truly represents blue collar workers would not advocate for, or enact, laws that shut down industries. Nor would they keep pushing for taxes on working class people.

9th April 2024 at 10:02 am
Deborah Hardy

The NDP are totally USELESS!!! They should be ABOLISHED!!! Meathead is only in it for the $$$ !!!

9th April 2024 at 7:37 am
Ron Klassen

So, in your opinion, 17.8 % of the Canadians who voted in the last election, don’t deserve to be heard?

9th April 2024 at 8:00 am
Kim Morton

The majority of the popular vote went to the Conservatives, yet we have a radical left non coalition coalition government. So the majority of voters are not represented.

9th April 2024 at 10:05 am
Paul Attics

Perhaps you should focus on embarrassingly lame original comment. It is the rhetorical equivalent of a primate slinging excrement at another.

All voters that cast votes for a party that elects an MP are represented. It may not be proportional but there is true representation.

The term “radical left” is a meaningless Trumpism that says precisely nothing of substance rather than any of the myriad and specific criticisms that could be brought to bear on the current government.

9th April 2024 at 10:35 am

The NDP hasn’t caught up to a world where inequality is as much about housing wealth as it is about income. The shift away from the NDP was largely young, and while you might see that as having soured on social issues, I think it’s also plausibly about the NDP getting the economic issues wrong.

And, in some ways working class interests are more divided than they once were. Anecdotally, plenty of union negotiations made heated by tension between young workers who prioritize wages (which have fallen dramatically relative to housing costs) and older ones without the same cost pressures who prioritize pensions and benefits. That’s hard to target without picking a side, and the NDP has not really risen to a moment when the problem is one part of the working class is extracting huge amounts of wealth from another part, rather than it just being the mega rich vs everyone else.

9th April 2024 at 8:28 am

Singh seems to be Leninist to the core, and this is a big problem for the NDP as a whole, this is Canada, not old Russia.

9th April 2024 at 11:02 am
Ron Klassen

The question is fair if you consider only the number of seats won. If you look at it from the perspective of the popular vote in 2021 you get a completely different picture. One that shines a light on an electoral system, and riding boundaries that does not accurately reflect the wishes of Canadians.

9th April 2024 at 7:42 am
A. Chezzi

The NDP is seen by many Canadians, even workers, see the NDP as too radical and they are nervous about taking the leap and voting NDP. They are concerned that a vote for the NDP is a vote for fiscal irresponsibility. Canadians want programs like inexpensive day care, dental care, and pharmacare but they have to be willing to pay for it. I would rather be taxed for these programs than allow large corporation and the wealthy to get tax cuts and see my money serving them. I think the NDP has to get back to its roots and stop being afraid of the social change and reform it has proposed.

9th April 2024 at 8:40 am

I personally call him a gas bag, all talk and no action.

9th April 2024 at 7:47 am
Paul Attics

TLDR – The Federal NDP don’t play politics the way the CPC would find advantageous.

An idealist’s view of the purpose of politics is to see the policies that you think best serve the country enacted. The main way, but not the only way, to do this is to gain maximum power as the government. In lieu of any likelihood of gaining power, influencing policy may be as-good-as-it-gets. Minority governments provide opportunity for this.

A practical matter is that political parties become a purpose unto themselves, a machine with its brand, own well-paid members, and elected officials that have a pretty great job and gold-plated pension. The NDP are getting very little for their disproportional and sustained support, including little credit from voters. The NDP do not have the money or broad support to fight an election.

Both drivers will inevitably be a factor but it seems that the argument here is that the NDP is more just existing to exist and this annoys conservatives as it thwarts their own quest for maximum power.

9th April 2024 at 8:24 am
Maggie LealValias

Get rid of the NDP and we will be tantamount a two party system with the Right going Righter — Polievre
‘Smith and their followers — and the left becoming more moderate without the NDP to hold the Liberals to account. This makes me see a US mirror image in Canada. NO PLEASE.

9th April 2024 at 4:02 pm

The ndp have always been shills for the liberal party full stop!

9th April 2024 at 1:36 pm

We need an electoral shift to proportional representation, first past the post does nothing for voter representation in the house. Alberta rural ridings have one mp. a back bencher conservative who does not acknowledge that he represents the entire riding. Until Canadians see they have true representation the pressure on our democratic system will mount.

9th April 2024 at 1:13 pm
Ray Howarth

Lauraine, I used to support the idea of proportional representation but I now see that we would get essentially what we now have, which is the NDP supporting the Liberal Party and driving the counrty to ruin.

10th April 2024 at 2:46 am

“Ginny Roth is the National Practice Lead for Government Relations at Crestview Strategy and a long-time conservative activist who previously worked at Queen’s Park and as party organizer for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.”

LOL. I love it when our modern salon class like Miss Roth (Earnscliffe type firms) pontificate against Champaign sipping social elites. Be proud of what you are!

The NDP is driving an interesting policy discussion around whether neoliberalism, markets, tax cuts and individualism is the best way to attain dental care for working families and the poor. It is wonderful to see PP stand up against Corporate lobbyists like her and the need for them to be transparent about the interest represented and if in the public interest. I love his flirtation with unions and working families. As a devout Harper neoliberal, he risks coming off as a Progressive Conservative or a Liberal. Ooops. that is what it takes to govern in a liberal democracy. Got to give the NDP credit as the website has this.

This matters for someone with a missing tooth who works for minimum wage and is not unionized or has a dental insurance. Welcome your policy ideas Miss Roth on different policy tools to attain dental care for Canadians suffering oral hygiene challenges without going bankrupt.

9th April 2024 at 10:59 am
Ron Klassen

So you agree that the electoral system doesn’t work for Canadians, it’s just that you don’t like the NDP leadership?

9th April 2024 at 8:07 am
Kim Morton

The electoral system was not set up to work for Canadians. It was designed to work for the Laurentian Elite. AKA the Liberal Party. If it were to work for Canadians, large rural ridings would have the same voting power as a city with multiple representatives.

9th April 2024 at 10:08 am
Paul Attics

The electoral system worked very well for the John A. MacDonald and the Conservative party in the first few decades of its use from Confederation through the, then new, century . It is based on the principle of general representation by population with exceptions (plenty of them, including disproportionate rural representation), using a first-past-the-post counting of votes to determine riding winners…at least from my recollection of grade school history.
What role did the Laurentian Elite have in its design again?

9th April 2024 at 10:44 am
Ray Howarth

Though the system may have been a sensible compromise in the 19th century it certainly seems flawed from a 21st century perspective, especially with three Parties competing.

10th April 2024 at 2:54 am