The CAW president has apparently re-joined the NDP for the purposes of endorsing Peggy Nash. He’d already signalled his support four months ago when Ms. Nash launched her campaign. Ms. Nash previously worked for the union as an assistant to Mr. Lewenza.
Six months ago, Ken Lewenza publicly endorsed and argued for an NDP-Liberal merger. Ms. Nash is on the record as being against a merger and she has rejected Nathan Cullen’s proposal of joint nomination meetings.
Update 5:15pm. I asked a CAW spokeswoman whether Mr. Lewenza still supported a merger. Here’s the response.
I don’t know that a possible merger between the Liberal Party and the NDP is still an issue. Ken’s comments on this arose (around the time of MP Pat Martin’s suggestion) out of a very real frustration about the outcome of the last several federal elections wherein the Conservative Party was repeatedly re-elected, with less than even 40% of the vote. There is a lot of sentiment that something need to be done – whether it be electoral reform or a merger of other parties.
Peggy Nash’s position is that of moving to a proportional representation system, which would deal with the problem of a lack of appropriate representation based on votes cast.
The CAW has firmly endorsed independent politics and strategic voting. This means we are committed to support candidates that champion the interests of working Canadians. Ken’s endorsement of Peggy doesn’t imply that the CAW strategic vision of politics changes. But it does recognize that no politician, in the country, is better fit to champion the interests of working Canadians than Peggy.