“Love and courage”—Canada’s NDP elects Obama-style pitchman as leader


“Love and courage”—Canada’s NDP elects Obama-style pitchman as leader

Roger Jordan

7 October 2017

Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) elected Jagmeet Singh as its new leader on the first ballot of its leadership vote last Sunday. His victory represents a further shift to the right by Canada’s social democrats and underscores that this big business party long ago abandoned any connection with the working class or even the fight for significant social reform.

Singh has been a member of Ontario’s provincial parliament since 2011, and served as deputy leader of the Ontario NDP from 2015 till his entry into the federal party leadership race last May. He was heavily involved in the ONDP’s right-wing 2014 election campaign, which so openly advocated the interests of the corporate elite that it enabled Kathleen Wynne’s budget-cutting and privatizing Liberal government to pose as to the left of the NDP on important issues and secure re-election.

In keeping with this, Singh made no criticism of the NDP’s record during his leadership campaign. The NDP’s endorsement of Canada’s leading role in US-led wars; the implementation by every NDP provincial government since the early 1990s of vicious austerity; the NDP’s attempt between 2004 and 2015 to partner with the Liberals in a national coalition government; and the party’s “Harper lite” 2015 federal election which saw the NDP pledge balanced budgets and no tax increases for the rich—none of these stances were so much as touched upon by Singh during his campaign.

On the contrary, in his victory speech Singh praised outgoing party leader Thomas Mulcair, saying that the former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister had led the party through a difficult period since succeeding the late Jack Layton in 2012…

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