Assymetric federalism is a principle. It is a fact on the ground that it exists to a significant degree, however much there may be proposals for more or less.
Nobody here is proposing ANY changes to the basics of federalism- let alone constitutional changes.
You don't want me to argue constitutional principles in this thread and then you do a throw away line like that to dismiss me. Lets just agree to disagree on whether proposals to make the country more asymmetrical than it already is would change the country to a significant degree.
You want to run on buzz words like asymmetrical federalism then kiss the party goodbye and watch them plummet in the polls as they explain to Canadians that they are not really changing the basics of federalism it is only giving Quebec more asymmetrical powers. I actually think you agree that this issue is death to the NDP and am trying to figure out what problem you are having with that concept. If you don't agree then so be it. I am sure voters in Canada will be fascinated by the debates when the candidates start laying out their dreams for constitutional renewal.
Actually, I don't think that sticking to current party policy is deadly for the party; quite the opposite AS LONG AS WE ELECT A LEADER WHO TRULY UNDERSTANDS THE QUEBEC REALITY IN CANADA, and as long as that person is able to navigate the nuanced messaging that has to result in both official languages, as Jack, Mulcair, and McGrath, Levigne, Topp et al were able to do last election.
I think most english Canadians, like me, are coming to understand that the Québec reality is a unique one in Canada and that if we want to maintain a functioning federation we have to acknowledge at least some of the nationalist aspirations of Québec. The truth of it is, if Scotland can be an independent country, so can Québec. We can deal with this through an acknowledgment of the assymetry that already exists in Canada, or we can be antagonistic, put our heads in the sand and maintain a kneejerk Trudeauvian view on things.
Québecers chose to engage with Canada again last election by voting NDP, but I harbour no doubts that if we choose to renege on our promises, they will abandon us en masse - not for the Liberals or Tories, but for the Bloc. I also am certain that the faith Québec placed in us probably represents one the last opportunities we have as Canadians to keep this country together, and it is our responsibility to ensure that we make good on it.
Does that mean reopening the constitution in 2015? Certainly not, but Jack was right back in the spring when he said that maintaining a constitution indefinitely to which Quebec is not a signatory is untenable. We do need to seek those "winning conditions for Québec in Canada."
As for the future of the party, I think we've got it made, unless we ourselves screw it up. As I see it, there are only two ways we do that:
1) Selecting a leader that does not understand Québec and its place in Canada (or is unable to articulate it in both official languages); or
2) (As my Liberal friends longingly put it on the weekend), "selecting the next Audrey McLaughlin."