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Thursday, April 14, 2016

The NDP as Animal Farm

Evan Soloman in Macleans:
...How did a party that looked so unified six months ago suddenly split so badly? Election losses do that. Inside the peloton of pundit commentary, the consensus theory is that the Liberals’ crafty tack to the left co-opted the NDP, pushing them into the more radical parts of the socialist spectrum. But riding behind that commentary group is another vaguely conspiratorial theory. This one suggests that Mulcair was never really a true believer in a socialist NDP. The former Thatcher-praising, Liberal cabinet minister was a parvenu—not, well, not pure laine orange.

When I tweeted that the NDP had an identity crisis, a party member snapped back, “Tom Mulcair was our identity crisis,” as if Mulcair had subversively duped the party into abandoning its true beliefs by promising—gasp—balanced budgets. This anti-Mulcair theory conveniently forgets that Jack Layton also promised balanced budgets and dragged the party toward the political centre. The very same people who helped Layton lead the party to its high-water mark—Anne McGrath, Brad Lavigne, Karl BĂ©langer—also worked with Mulcair. You have to re-read Animal Farm to appreciate how paranoid this revisionism of the Mulcair era really is...

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