What now? - Macleans.ca

What now?


Alice Funke looks at Jack Layton’s electoral legacy, while Postmedia and the Star consider the political ramifications.

Still, Bricker said Layton’s long-term legacy appears to be the fact that he built a coalition of supporters — from Toronto urbanites to rural Quebecers — who now vote NDP. And that, said Bricker, has sown the seeds for an outcome that appears inevitable — a two-party system.

 “When you take a look at the people who did cross over and actually decide to vote NDP, they have a lot in common. Both in terms of the way they think — their world view — and what they look like demographically. He’s actually consolidated a fairly cohesive, coherent political coalition on the left.”


What now?

  1. Bob Rae for interim leader of both Libs and NDP!  

    MSM masters of statement of obvious – NDP future unclear after Layton dies – but most progressives are earnest fishwives who are incapable of appearing moderate. 

    NDP future is unclear because so few progressives are capable of putting on a smile and convincing people they are not malignant. As far as I know/understand, L Davies and T Mulcair are leading contenders for leadership and they are not remotely mainstream.

    NDP has three years to present itself as moderate left wing alternative to Conservatives. My impression is that left wing Liberal vote is up for grabs at moment and NDP could keep/attract new support if they can appear less kooky over time. 

    Analogy not perfect but I think of Layton as similar to Tony Blair in Britain. Blair modernized left wing party in order to start winning elections but Blair faced much resistance because of sanctimonious left wing types. Layton changed nature of NDP, but still some way to go. 

    Will next NDP leader be ‘pragmatic’ like Layton or more doctrinaire and return to days early 2000s and 13 seats and 8.5% of vote?

    “…..  Thomas Mulcair, drew gasps when he said he does not believe the United States government has photographs of terrorist Osama bin Laden. He also hinted there may be “more going on,” behind the scenes of his assassination than the U.S. is making known.” NatPost, May 2011

    “Prime Minister Stephen Harper has joined a chorus of voices calling for MP Libby Davies to resign as NDP deputy leader for casting doubt on Israel’s right to exist at a recent Vancouver protest against the Jewish state.” TorStar, June 2010

  2. The NDP will be quite interesting to watch in the next couple of years. I wonder if Layton’s passing will catalyze (other) citizens and make them more interested in the NDP or if this interest will be short-lived and fade away before it comes time for the “next” election. 

    As a Canadian living “abroad” (in Washington, DC, for the next little while), I was inspired by the current NDP run. In fact, it had me considering getting into Canadian politics. I wonder if this was the case for other Canadians. When I make my way back to Canada, politics is something I may consider getting involved with — and I have the NDP (and Jack Layton) to thank for that.


    “…has sown the seeds for an outcome that appears inevitable — a two-party system.”

    While there are pros and cons to a “two-party system,” (as made clear from watching US Politics), I wonder how Canada would function with a united (Liberal/NDP) party. Would pairing the NDP with the Liberals reassure those Canadians who think the NDP (by themselves) are too far to the left? If I were the NDP/Liberal leadership, it’d be worth putting a poll in the field to gauge such a question.

    With Love and Gratitude,


  3. I don’t know when Layton started to become the entirety of the party….the NDP in one form or another has been around for 60 years. They had leaders before Layton, and they’ll have leaders after him.

    My personal preference is for the Libs and NDP to merge and end the split voting, but that’s unlikely to happen… even though Harper has given them a ready-made platform with his Great Leap Backwards.

    Canada wants to move forward, so we need a new party to do that.