(this is an expanded version of a post I originally made on Disqus, fwiw, in a discussion about Libby Davies' book)
The NDP Executive Council needs to be abolished. The Council plays no useful purpose and there is no justification for the veto it holds over party policy and candidate approval. Every time the Council has said "No!", the party has lost an opportunity. Every time it has made the choice to distance the party from sources of progressive, transformative energy(expelling the Waffle in the early Seventies, rejecting the NPI in the Nineties, refusing to back the Quebec students and anathemizing the Palestine solidarity community and the social movements, and emphasizing only the right-wing parts of the platform like balancing the budget as Mulcair did), the result has been the hollowing out of the party, the destruction of all enthusiasm, and the loss of the activist vote, with nothing and no one coming in to replace those who were excluded or driven away.
2015 proves caution doesn't work; It proves obsessing with "safety" doesn't work; It proves "respectability" is useless; most importantly at all, 2015 proves, once and for all, that the Left is not the problem or the enemy. The only place where energy exists on the progressive side of the spectrum is at the grassroots level; the only way to give the party a leadership with energy is to have it led from BELOW, with passion, with vision, in the name of making dreams flesh.
The only way forward is not only to try to win elections, but win them in the only way that matters; by making a real effort to WIN THE ARGUMENT. This will not happen until the Executive Council is abolished and control over policy, internal party organization, and candidate selection are where they should be-in the hands of the rank-and-file alone.