First, the comments that follow are focused on the federal wing of the New Democratic Party. The federal and provincial wings are two very different kettles of fish!
Second, I’ve tried to stay out of the flak going on in the blogosphere and in the media about the NDP. The party, like all organizations of human beings, has issues. And, truth be told, I have serious concerns about the strategies, communications policy and messaging of the NDP since before the last election. It’s as though the inner circle has lost touch with the grassroots — not the Party’s grassroots, but the grassroots from which Leader Jack Layton comes. The sense I get is that rude children are running the show and that’s not good for the Leader, for the Party or for Canada. I would urge Jack to ground into his roots as an activist and lead from there.
Third, in light of all this, The Jurist over at Accidental Deliberations has invited responses to Why Canada needs the NDP? And it’s a good question, one I’ve pondered all day. My answer for me is simple. Canada needs the NDP because it is the only federal political party that recognizes a woman’s fundamental right to reproductive choice. Not only that, it will insist that all New Democratic Members of Parliament toe the line when the issue is addressed by the House of Commons.
Suffice it to say that Canada needs the NDP because Canadian women can count on the NDP to stand up and be counted when it matters.