Live coverage of the NDP leadership convention -

Live coverage of the NDP leadership convention

News, results and analysis from our political correspondents in real-time


In the wake of the Orange Wave and seven months after the death of Jack Layton, the NDP arrived at a dramatic moment of choice this weekend. New Democrats select their seventh leader and will have the proceedings covered with the latest blogs and comprehensive coverage from start to finish. Paul Wells, John Geddes, Aaron Wherry, Mitchel Raphael and Alex Ballingall are on hand at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre with instant news, results and analysis, from the blogs to Twitter.

For further background reading, here’s a sample of our best musings on the leadership contest so far, as well as interviews with the candidates (except, you’ll surely notice, Thomas Mulcair, who managed to dodge our best efforts to have a chat):

Blog Posts:

Paul Wells on why Mulcair will probably win and why the 2015 faceoff between the Conservatives and the NDP will be about energy and the environment, Aaron Wherry on figuring out what Jack Layton’s legacy actually is, and John Geddes on how Jack Layton’s mother jumped into the fray.


Aaron Wherry and Gabriela Perdomo in conversation with Brian Topp, Peggy Nash, Martin Singh, Niki Ashton, Paul Dewar and Nathan Cullen.

From the magazine:

Thomas Mulcair is Mr. Angry – His aggressive style stands up to Harper. It could win him the NDP leadership race.

Peggy Nash’s not-so-long shot at the NDP leadership – The Toronto MP pitches government as the great job protector

Does Brian Topp have the chops to lead the NDP? – The party’s consummate backroom strategist must show he has what it takes

How Paul Dewar hopes to avoid being lost in translation – Paul Wells on why there’s more to the NDP leadership hopeful than poor French

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Live coverage of the NDP leadership convention

  1. Yawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn !

  2. Who wins the NDP leadership is of little consequence.
    What will be of consequence is when Marc Garneau stands for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.  His trustworthiness and ability to make intelligent decisions cannot be disputed.
    What lies do you think the Harper Conservatives might spin about him?

    • He didn’t come back to earth for you!

      • Not a “real” earthling!

    • They might be able to use some of the intemperate remarks Garneau made as a candidate. In addition, if Mulcair wins (as looks likely) Quebec may not be the best area of growth for the Liberals. Moreover, I suspect his age will be a real liability (in a leadership race, if not a general election). In 2015 he’ll be 66 – hardly the best guy to provide the kind of continuity the Liberals need. Since Confederation, the Liberals have had 16 different leaders – 6 of those were in the last 8 years. With Garneau you get to combine the liabilities of a political neophyte AND an old geezer.

    •  Space cadet

      • Alien.

  3. So who’s going to fold? Topp or Cullen? Can Cullen even get close to Mulcair if Topp folds?

    Doesn’t this put Nathan exactly where he wanted to be – kingmaker? If i was him i’d be extracting something from topp or Mulcair right now. But will he? Seems to me to be a waste of his campaign effort up to now to not make a deal – if he can?

    • I don’t think Cullen can play a kingmaker. Most people have voted already, so only a few people are going to be able to change their votes electronically. Plus, I’d guess that a lot of Cullen’s supporters on the floor will have gone home due to these delays, and the fact that it looks unlikely that their candidate will win.

      Neither Cullen nor Topp seem especially well-poised to beat Mulcair at this point. For Cullen to survive he’d need the lion’s share of Nash’s support (and for Topp to win very little, despite the ideological similarities between Topp and Nash), AND then the lion’s share of Topp’s support.

      Topp is in a slightly better position, but he doesn’t have an endorsement from Nash, nor does he have particularly good growth potential once Cullen drops out. If you think the NDP’s strategy should be to cooperate with the Liberals, I would imagine you would be more inclined towards a modernizer like Mulcair than somebody pushing for stark contrasts like Topp. Certainly if beating Harper is the goal, Mulcair’s the one.

      • I’ve heard a lot of people say this – Mulcair is a modernizer, but they forget he also expressly ruled out any cooperation with the libs. I believe he thinks he can either make the libs irrelevant or kill them off altogether.

        As long as the libs stick with Rae i  don’t think Mulcair can accomplish this, particularly in Quebec and even more so in Ontario.

        • I think the best analogy to Bob Rae is Joe Clark ca. 1998. Far and away, Bob Rae is the most skilled politician in Canada. He has made mistakes in the past, but grown in spite of (and indeed, because of) them. Bob Rae is a great choice to save the Liberals from oblivion in 2015. However, what happens after 2015? Bob Rae will be 67, and looking to retire. 

          Leaders don’t win elections. Only about a third of voters vote on the basis of who the leader is and, moreover, leaders are a short-term factor.Rather, if you look at the ten-year war of attrition between the Reform/Alliance and PC party (and the subsequent rise of the united Tories), organization trumped leadership. Charest was able to poll well in 1997, while Clark won the debates and the “best Prime Minister” polls. But neither did much to build the infrastructure of the party because both had short time-horizons (Charest because of his provincial ambitions, Clark because of his impending retirement). Manning and Day were terrible politicians and poor leaders. However, they were able to build a powerful grassroots base for their party, that grew increasingly competitive over time. As a result, when the right finally did unite, it did so in an environment where the Reform wing could dominate. 

          • Interesting point about organization – maybe the libs and NDP are starting to realize this now…the libs have been especially neglectful in that regard.

            Agree about Rae. The best opposition politician in the country by a fair margin. PM material…?!?!?!??????????????

            Events will tell. Suspect the battle of the opposition parties is now in Quebec. It’ll be odd to see an old Meech laker like Rae who now runs a post Trudeau national party[ in decline still?] going up against a Sherbrooke declaration animal like Mulcair…!!!!

            I honestly don’t know what Mulcair really represents in modern Quebec.

  4. Oh well, i think Nathan made his point; not as strongly or strategically as i would have liked, but then i’m not privy to his strategy. i give him credit for hanging in there when the nay sayers tired their best to discourage him.

    One thing’s for sure, cooperation among the libs/ndp has a constituency that neither Mulcair nor Topp has been able to marginalize or kill off.

  5. Any guesses on how long before nasty boy and his pseudo-Christians put out their first American Tea Party-type attack and smear ads against Mulcair?

    • Mulcair rushing his speech like a bad used car salesman…it’s already in the can. 

  6. 47,310 people voting on the last ballot, as opposed to 128,351 NDP members. So Mulcair has won, it appears, with the support of about 21% of the membership. 

    • Stop doing the tories math for them :)

      Thomas Mulcair, does he really have the interest of all NDPers at heart? Think about it Canada! This message brought to you by your only authentic majority mandate leader.