Last weekend, the NDP Convention came and went through Edmonton like a tornado. The expected 800 delegates turned out to be over 1,700 strong. Storm winds were in the air from Thursday, when the New Democrat Youth Council put forward a resolution for Tom Mulcair to resign as leader. The vote was 48-48 with 10 abstentions. The forecast was looking turbulent.
As the workshops and committees went about their work, nominees for Executive Council campaigned amongst the delegates. After five complex and difficult years, Rebecca Blaikie was stepping down as President. National Directors had already moved on since last October. The very visible support for Marit Stiles as new President was accurate as she was successful, winning the post.
Speeches from CLC President Hassan Yussuff, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and party icon Stephen Lewis concentrated the storm winds with very differing messages to the crowd. The resolution over whether the Leap Manifesto would simply be sent to riding level for research and comment turned into a spinning vortex fed with copious amounts of hot air. Who knew reading a document was so blasphemous? As Sunday dawned, nothing was guaranteed. Every resolution in the emergency plenary session seemed a matter of survival. Then the storm touched down. Delegates voted for a leadership convention 52% to 48%. A resolution was passed allowing up to 24 months to replace Tom Mulcair.
Interviews with outgoing President Rebecca Blaikie, MP's Nathan Cullen and Peter Julian from the convention floor, and an extended sit-down discussion with MP Niki Ashton are featured in this episode. The View Up Here thanks them for taking the time to speak to our listeners. Reflections on the convention from the host will also be heard.
Join us in the chat room or call in and give your views. Especially if you were there. The future is now for the NDP, by necessity.
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