Friday, 23 March 2012

Will the NDP become Canada's New Liberal Party? (NLP?)

Former Quebec Liberal Cabinet Minister Thomas Mulcair is ready to take charge of Canada's once Socialist,  New Democratic Party and that has many people concerned including former NDP Leader Ed Broadbent who has spoken out harshly against the effect Mr. Mulcair would have on the party as leader.  The NDP has considered itself to be a Social Democratic Party since its inception but in the past few years there have been heated debates over whether to drop the term Socialism from it labelling. The NDP now sits in Official Opposition and Canadians are beginning to picture that party in Government. It would be a bold move for the delegates who overwhelmingly are not from Quebec to choose Power over Principles and elect a Quebec Liberal as their Leader.  Such a move would enable the NDP to hold onto most of its current seats in Quebec while drawing Liberal voters to the party from across the country. There is nowhere for the middle of the road Socialist base to go so their support would be retained with some loss of enthusiasm.
With the Liberal Party of Canada led at least on an interim basis by former Ontario NDP Premier Bob Rae the line between the two parties is becoming more blurred every day. The difference is Bob Rae really is a Liberal and has the skill and experience to lead a Liberal Party. Thomas Mulcair is not a Socialist and will if elected leader transform the NDP into a New Liberal Party.  We can expect internal divisions in a Mulcair led NDP and note Mr. Mulcair's temperamental nature which is not suited to reconciling the differences.  The NDP can choose a safe route electing a more traditional NDPer to lead but in so doing will be on the road back to third party status instead of Government.  There are other options but it is a tough choice whichever option is selected.

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