The Leap Manifesto, and where the NDP will land

Journalist Jason Markusoff of Maclean’s reports on how the Leap Manifesto threatens to divide the federal and local branches of the NDP of Canada.


The Leap debate stands to energize the party and bring in new prominent voices from the outside, like the many celebrities who signed the manifesto.

“Social movements are surging in Canada, racking up progressive victories and building new alliances across traditional divides,” Leap Manifesto co-author Avi Lewis told the convention. “These are the people behind the Leap. Send a message that the party wants to join them.”

It’s likely there will be a leadership contender (or a few) who will run as the Leap candidate. Some New Democrats will pressure Lewis to be that vessel.

But while the NDP swears this is merely subject for debate now, other parties more inclined to back the pipelines that Lewis’s program flatly denounces will also focus on these words that start the resolution that passed on the floor by about a 60-40 margin:

The NDP recognizes and supports the Leap Manifesto as a high-level statement of principles that speaks to the aspirations, history, and values of the party. [details to be determined]

Awkwardly for the federal party, the governing Alberta NDP is one of those parties that strongly differs with Lewis and Leap on pipelines; their political survival and the provincial economy, Premier Rachel Notley’s crew believes, need a pipeline. So Leap in any form becomes a political millstone around NDP necks here, warned Gil McGowan, the head of the Alberta Federation of Labour, who lost federally as an NDP candidate in Edmonton Centre. After his argument lost out, McGowan said he’d need a few minutes before commenting to reporters. “What they’ve done is drive a wedge between the federal party on one hand and the provincial party on the other hand,” McGowan said, a while later.

Read the full article by Jason Markusoff here



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