Politics Unspun

Will failure teach the NDP anything?

For Canadians desperate for a national alternative to pipeline politics and general corporate stoogery, the NDP’s calamitous showing in last year’s federal election was devastating. The conditions were nearly perfect for victory: Stephen Harper’s detested dictatorship was headed for the dumpster, and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair had consistently upstaged the feckless Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. Once the smoke had cleared, however, Trudeau’s Liberals had a whopping majority and the NDP ended up losing seats. We got rid of Harper alright, only to end up with the continuation of Harperism by other (gentler) means.

Putting the blame for the NDP‘s shellacking on Canada’s undemocratic electoral system assuages the grief somewhat, but it’s also a form of denial. It papers over internal problems that should have been addressed long ago. In short, the NDP is uninspiring, inept and obsolete. If it couldn't pull off a win against the loathsome Harper, what chance does it have now against the shallow but charming “Harper lite?” The answer: “none,” which is why the party needs to reinvent itself if it ever hopes to form government.

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