NDP socialists are looking for a left wing alternative to Brian Topp, the back room strategist who announced his candidacy for the federal party leadership. In June, at the NDP federal convention in Vancouver, Topp expressed his support for the still-born Liberal-NDP coalition that took shape two winters ago. NDP leftists strongly reject coalition or merger with the business-backed Liberal Party.
Romeo Saganash, the Cree leader and MP from northern Quebec, declared his candidacy in mid-September. He didn't outline his platform, but his candidacy may already have had the salutory effect of crippling the leadership bid of Thomas Mulcair, a Montreal area MP who jumped from the Quebec Liberal Party cabinet to the NDP in 2006.
Sadly, leftist Vancouver East MP Libby Davies has ruled out a run for the job.
The NDP Socialist Caucus, the cross-country, organized left wing of the labour-based New Democratic Party, will host a conference on November 26 in Toronto to decide its position on the federal NDP leadership race.
The Socialist Caucus, which played a significant role in preventing removal of the term “socialist” from the party constitution at the June 2011 federal convention in Vancouver, is concerned that putative candidates for leader, like Winnipeg MP Pat Martin, advocate a merger of the NDP with the big business-backed Liberal Party, and seek to steer the NDP on a policy course further to the right.
The SC opposes suggestions that the party weaken its ties to the union movement. Socialists seek to increase and strengthen the labour character of the party, and to win it to the fight for a Workers' Agenda -- counter to the corporate agenda, and against the mounting anti-worker 'austerity' measures being imposed at all levels.
At the November 26 SC conference, members may decide to run a candidate for Leader, or to support one of the candidates already running for the post.
SC policy resolutions, publications, forums, and candidates for party executive positions at the Federal NDP convention (March 23-24 in Toronto) and at the Ontario NDP convention (April 12-15, 2012) will also be on the agenda at the November 26 SC gathering.
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> The article above was written by Julius Arscott.