I've been asked to sum up the story coming out of the NDP's Women's Forum held a couple of weeks ago in Ottawa which I had the opportunity to live blog for rabble.
In a word: bittersweet.
In an article: mostly bitter, with the sweet parts near the end.
Let's start with the ironic and unexpected backdrop to the forum -- the ludicrous statement the night before by presidential hopeful Mitt Romney that he had consulted a "binder full of women" to fill important jobs after becoming governor of Massachusetts.
In just a few days, the Women’s Forum des femmes will launch a renewed conversation about the state of women’s equality in Canada and how to move it forward. You can join this conversation. This is a non-partisan event initiated by NDP Status of Women Critic, Niki Ashton, in recognition that the women's community is facing challenging times. Who should participate? Women, activists, organizations - anyone concerned about developments over the past decade in the collective fight for women's rights & equality in Canada.
Quebec. The NDP membership's primary concern is that the party hold its 58 Quebec seats in the next election: this determined the outcome of the leadership campaign that began officially September 15, 2011, and ended March 24. Party members sensed that Thomas Mulcair understands Quebec, could appeal to Quebecers, and believed he was the best choice to lead the party into the next election.
The NDP Socialist Caucus (SC) is happy to present the Spring 2012 edition of Turn Left, the official magazine of the SC, in preparation for the upcoming federal and Ontario provincial conventions.
This issue features articles on the corruption in Canada's banking system, Aboriginal struggles, the corporate media, student protests in Quebec, book reviews, our statement of support for Niki Ashton, profiles of our team of candidates who will be running for the Ontario NDP Executive in April, and much more.
As the race for New Democratic Party federal Leader draws to a close it is painfully evident that none of the seven remaining candidates proposes a clean break with the pro-capitalist direction of the party. Keep in mind that this is the fourth year of the global Great Recession. Crippling austerity measures, rising environmental havoc, and the growing threat of a widening war in the Middle East loom on the horizon. The party's current course is a recipe for disaster.
Under the circumstances, in our estimation, the best hope for progressive change in the NDP's top office is represented by Niki Ashton, MP for Churchill (Manitoba).