The fraud of the “left turn” in Canada’s NDP
22 February 2018
Even many commentators in the corporate media noted the lacklustre character of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) convention held in Ottawa last weekend. Amid deepening geopolitical rivalries that could trigger a major war on the Korean peninsula or in the Middle East, attacks on democratic and social rights, and the reemergence of working class struggle in Canada and internationally, the social democrats only mustered a few tepid criticisms of Liberal government policy—criticisms that three years ago could just as well have been made by the current prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
The centerpiece of the gathering was a keynote address by the NDP’s new federal leader Jagmeet Singh, a darling of the party’s right-wing establishment and former deputy-leader of the Ontario NDP. Singh’s vapid, Obama-style politics—epitomized in his “love and courage” motto—infused a 40-minute speech in which he made clear the continuity of his leadership with that of his right-wing predecessors, Thomas Mulcair and Jack Layton.
Singh criticized mounting social inequality and outlined a few tepid reform proposals, including a government-run pharmacare system, extra funding for housing, and increased taxation on the “ultra-rich,” causing the pseudo-left Fightback to gush that “the message” seems “finally have gotten through” that “reformism without reforms” is “not what people want “to hear.”
In reality, the NDP remains as subservient to big business, and as pliant a tool of the capitalist elite in dissipating and derailing social opposition, as ever. Anyone who claims otherwise either suffers from political amnesia or is out to deceive the population. Every single…