In a stunning defeat in Edmonton Mr. Mulcair was deposed as leader of the federal NDP. Many delegates had waited to hear Mr. Mulcair's speech, waited to hear a new vision different from the one that lead to third party status in Parliament. But Mr. Mulcair did not deliver.
Mr. Mulcair's problem is he is a centrist status-quo politician; he ran a centrist campaign promising a balanced budget. All three parties; the PCs, Liberals and NDP are indistinguishable centrist parties that employ a ‘bait and switch’ ploy at election times. They cultivate an ideological image away from the centre and then move to the centre in practice to become electable. This causes tension within the party; the true believers versus the practical moderates. This is the NDP’s problem.
They tried to sell Mr. Mulcair as a moderate while trying to hold onto rank and file social democrats. The NDP ran on balanced budgets, holding off on higher taxes and waffling on climate change. When this failed the tension boiled over.
The comparison to the Nova Scotia NDP is direct. Premier Dexter moved the party to the centre, elected a status-quo government and destroyed their ideological base in the process (as described by Howard Epstein in his post mortem book ‘Rise Again’).
The federal NDP seem to be breaking the other way, dumping the centrist leader and moving to the left with renewed deficit spending, government intervention and pipeline moratoriums.
Seems the NDP cannot have it both ways.
Jonathan Geoffrey Dean