The NDP convention gets underway today in Toronto. By the end of the weekend, the Official Opposition party will have named a new leader. Seven candidates are running to replace the late Jack Layton: Brian Topp, Peggy Nash, Martin Singh, Niki Ashton, Paul Dewar, Nathan Cullen and Thomas Mulcair.
Mulcair arrives to the convention as the favourite, but all bets are off because the party is using a preferential voting system, which works as follows:
Voters can choose two candidates, one as their first choice and one as their second choice. On election day, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is dropped out of the race and then those votes move to the second choice. That continues until one candidate gathers more than 50 per cent of the votes.
This week, interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel issued a farewell letter, and expressed confidence in the party’s victory in the next federal election. In her words:
The next leader can count on a united team. Never before has an NDP leader been so well-positioned to form the first New Democratic government in Canadian history. I am proud to have contributed to that.
Don’t miss Maclean’s live coverage of the convention, including news and commentary from our very best, here.