Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"What is more important to you and your family" -- A look back at NDP 2000

In the federal election of 2000 I ran for the NDP in the riding of Scarborough-Agincourt. 

As it was held by entrenched Liberal incumbent Jim Karygiannis (notable for his very illiberal views about abortion and gay marriage) I was a totally sacrificial candidate, but it was my first time running for office and it was a learning experience. 

This was the main leaflet that was given to me for distribution.

A few things worth noting here. 

First, the "middle-class" is mentioned nowhere. Though far from perfect (the constant refrain about "families" makes me gag...and did at the time) there is an obviously greater "us vs. them" and workers vs. Bay St. aspect.

Second, the "leader" is nowhere. This leaflet is about party and policy and not a tribute to Alexa McDonough. This is impossible to imagine now when the party has become entirely about its leader -- a disgraceful transition begun under Layton. 

To those who would suggest it was because McDonough was a "bad" leader...think again. While the dynamic of the 2000 election played out very badly for the party, over the course of her stewardship she took the party from near oblivion to being a part of the political scene again and when she handed the reigns to Layton she did so at a level of support in the polls that was back in the mid-teens -- a fact largely forgotten now.  

The irony is that McDonough was seen as a leader pushing the party to the centre -- which she was. 

But the distance traveled there under the widely celebrated leaderships of first Layton and now Mulcair has been much greater. 

At any rate -- here is one look at NDP 2000. 

(Click on images to enlarge)

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