Replacing the Irreplaceable
March 24, 2012. That is the day all NDP supporters (and many Canadians) will be anticipating, as the NDP looks to replace the late Jack Layton. A task many did not want to discuss in the days after Layton’s death, but one that must be faced for the party to move on. Thus far, there are eight declared candidates, with a few more likely to declare their candidacy at some point. Below is a list of those candidates, with their campaign websites linked from clicking on their names.
So far no single candidate stands out as my favourite. That doesn’t mean nobody is any good, but I simply haven’t put much thought into who I believe will best lead the party, and be the most effective leader of the opposition. Of course, there are some clear frontrunners, as determined by the media, but it remains to be seen if they can use that status to their advantage. Whichever person does win, automatically begins the leader of the opposition, and will luckily have a few years to get comfortable in the role before facing an election.
The NDP has outlined the leadership selection process in very simple terms on their website (which I think is fantastic). No elite party jargon here. Those details can be accessed here.
The question is also floating around about whether the left should unite into one party. If I was an influential member of either the Liberals or the NDP, I would be hesitant to jump into a merge too quickly. I think you need to see how at least one more election plays out. Perhaps with better leadership (that’s you, Liberal party) you can gain back the support you lost, and remain your own party. But if after one or two more elections, the votes on the left are still being split, then absolutely you should unite. Some argue that could be fifteen years of wasted time. True. But once you merge, you can’t go back, and I would hate for anyone to regret it.