Thursday, March 12, 2015

Laxer, Lewis and Watkins sitting in a tree!: Leftist Throwback Thursday

(Click on image to enlarge)

Drawn in 1972, this hilarious political cartoon by Montreal's "Aislin" (Terry Mosher). perfectly captures the divide that had been reached in 1972 between the leadership of the NDP and the party's radical leftist wing popularly known as the Waffle.

James Laxer and Mel Watkins (commonly acknowledged as the Waffle's leaders) and both Stephen and David Lewis sit on separate branches of a tree that are growing in opposite directions. Both are trying to cut the other wing loose. Laxer wears a button that reads "Workers of the World Give Us a Call" while David Lewis holds a book titled "Quotations of Chairman Gallup"! 

In the end, of course, the Lewis wing won out and in June, 1972 the Waffle was ordered to dissolve or leave the party. The effect, positive or negative, that this had on the party and whether or not this move was necessary or marked the beginning of the party's centralization of power in the hands of its leaders and poll driven strategists, is still debated by leftists in Canada to this day. 

For my take on the expulsion of the Waffle, written on the occasion of its 40th anniversary, (and, full disclosure, James Laxer is my father!) click here: On the 40th anniversary of the expulsion of the Waffle   

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