Friday, March 24, 2017

Sid Ryan hits all the right leftist notes in a powerful video that leaves us asking why he is not running

Sid Ryan, the seemingly divisive former leader of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), has been flirting with the idea of running for the leadership of the NDP for a few months now.

To be fair, this was not entirely Ryan's own doing. A group of leftists within the NDP -- primarily centered around the Socialist Caucus -- has been encouraging him to run to the point that they even created a website for him and, conveniently, a platform! To a degree, to be honest, this had the feel of an astroturf campaign, but it did have the virtue of being a very principled one.

Ryan, while remaining noncommittal, has written really solid pieces and made good statements reflecting why the NDP needs to shift left.

Yesterday Ryan, however, took a page from Bernie Sanders and released what has to be seen as a campaign video that is almost perfectly conceived and hits all the right notes. It does leave one asking why he is not in the race.

The video is leftist, unapologetic, inspiring, and very well done.

It is a forceful shot across the bow and sends a strong message.

He takes a forthright stance on pipelines, is open about the NDP's undemocratic past, tackles the disaster of "free trade" deals, talks about the need to redistribute wealth and spending, and he does it all in a notably powerful way.

Yet, sadly, he ends it in an equivocating fashion  that -- while very self-effacing and democratic -- does make one question when he will make clear his intentions and why he has not joined the fray.

Still, this is easily the most leftist and stirring video (in the era of videos) to ever be released by any candidate for the NDP leadership and it is not simply worth watching, but also worth celebrating as an exciting moment where Ryan said things that needed to be said and did so in a way that has the potential to transform the entire leadership race.

Watch the video, and then wonder why it is not a video (yet) for an official candidate. Something it truly should be.

See also: The NDP's leadership debate begins not with a bang but a miserable whimper

See also: New directions or continuity? -- The NDP leadership race begins in earnest

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