Two matters that I was watching this weekend vis-a-vis the fed NDP convention:
1. Would the NDP delegates actually endorse the Leap Manifesto?
2. Would Mulcair retain, at a minimum, 70% delegate support in order to remain?
The Leap Manifesto is what interested me. Basically a radical, hard-left enviro turn for the party. It's components:
— Shift swiftly away from fossil fuels so that Canada gets 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable resources within 20 years and is entirely weaned off fossil fuels by 2050.
— No new infrastructure projects aimed at increasing extraction of non-renewable resources, including pipelines.
— “Energy democracy,” in which energy sources are collectively controlled by communities instead of “profit-gouging” private companies.
— An end to all trade deals “that interfere with our attempts to rebuild local economies, regulate corporations and stop damaging extractive projects.”
— Expand low-carbon sectors of the economy, such as caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public-interest media.
And what is that "energy democracy" thingy about? Nationalizing all oil and gas companies?
In any event, the fed NDP resolution began with this preamble:
"The NDP recognizes and supports the Leap Manifesto as a high-level statement of principles that speaks to the aspirations, history, and values of the party." [details to be determined]
And it passed by a 60% to 40% margin. Basically the fed NDP has thrown the BC, AB, and SK provincial NDP wings under the bus with that move. BC alone has $10s of billions in proposed nat gas pipelines proposed to the NW coast, along with proposed LNG terminals, and NE BC nat gas basin expansion.
Was watching the Leap Manifesto being debated on CPAC this morning and noticed one delegate from BC - Joe Barrett, son of former BC NDP premier Dave Barrett (1972 - 1975), basically pleading with delegates not to approve the Leap Manifesto motion.
Kady O'Malley of the Ottawa Citizen tweeted out same:
A BC delegate -- Dave Barrett's son! -- warns the motion will mean they 'get burnt,' and "get the opposite of what we want.' #NDP2016
The message this resolution will send to BC, he says, is that the NDP is "against everything under all circumstances." #NDP2016
Barrett obviously understands the negative political ramifications for the NDP here in BC and others have also corroborated same.
In AB, they are now calling for the provincial NDP gov't to split from the fed NDP.
And I certainly concur with this evenings headline from Michael Den Tandt:
With its Jack Layton-esque centrism in tatters, radical Leap Manifesto will doom the NDP
As for Mulcair, he attempted to pull a Tony Blair, during the election campaign, believing that the Liberal carcass was ready to be absorbed. BTW, his were not natural NDP positions.
And I was blown away when Mulcair only achieved 48% support at the convention - the lowest support of any leader of any political party (federal/provincial) in Canadian history. Shows just how astute his political instincts are. He should have stepped down on election night.
Only two successors jump out:
1. Nathan Cullen - who about a month back made it quite clear to Global's Tom Clark that he is not interested in the job;
2. Megan Leslie - lost her Halifax seat and has also made it clear that she is staying away from politics for another 10 years;
Albeit sometimes persuasion can change minds. Looking at the rest of the potential roster - basically 2nd and 3rd stringers.
And they will all now have the Leap Manifesto baggage to carry forward.