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I feel about the NDP like I feel about a sequel to a movie I loved. I really want it to be good, but it’s almost always disappointing. And unfortunately, J.J. Abrams isn’t an option to replace Thomas Mulcair. But can the NDP’s electoral failure be completely blamed on Mulcair?

A little bit. His balanced budget promise was bad, especially alongside his past praise for Margaret Thatcher, whose idea of a national child-care program would have probably used them as replacements for unionized coal workers. And it didn’t help that during the election he spoke in the manner of someone who just returned from an anger management retreat after threatening to throw a coworker out of a window.

But the NDP’s shift to the centre started before Mulcair, and was part of a larger, decades long rightward shift of the political poles in western countries. But this seems to be reversing. The campaign of Bernie Sanders has shown a real thirst in the U.S. for a move to the left, away from the usual parade of corporate-sponsored ghouls. And the supposedly unelectable Jeremy-Corbyn-led Labour party in the U.K. is now polling ahead of the Conservatives.

So the NDP has a choice. It can get ahead of this leftward shift and offer bold, innovative policies that improve economic fairness and environmental justice and give people something to vote for, rather than just against. Something that motivates non-voters to start voting again.

Or they can try to outmaneuver the Liberals. But how do you outmiddle the middle? 

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Scott Vrooman

Scott has written and performed comedy for TV (Conan, Picnicface, This Hour Has 22 Minutes), radio (This is That), and the web (Vice, Funny or Die, College Humor, The Toronto Star, The Huffington Post,...