rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Tom Mulcair exits stage right -- too late and not soon enough!

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Tom Mulcair lost. 

Much to this writer's surprise, NDP delegates have ousted Mulcair as leader of the party.

This is richly deserved.

As I have written of before, Mulcair's leadership failed on its own premises and in every conceivable objective way. It did not even have the virtue of principle to have made these failures worthwhile.

His transparently phony attempt to "shift left" in recent days seems to have fooled no one and may have even alienated the Alberta contingent at the convention which was, in fact, one of the largest. Mulcair paid lip service to supporting the Leap Manifesto, which Rachel Notley made clear she strongly opposes fundamental aspects of.

Mulcair's ouster is, on every level, a positive development. He was without doubt the most right wing leader in the party's history and ran a top-down and profoundly undemocratic party and campaign.

What remains to be seen is what this defeat signifies.

All the other party elections went to establishment candidates, the party parried (for now) calls to adopt the Leap Manifesto and it is by no means certain that Mulcair's replacement will be on the left.

Further, the very fact that there was even a question about whether or not Mulcair should remain as leader says a lot about the NDP's internal culture, and nothing good. Likewise with the reality that very, very few figures in positions of influence came out against Mulcair and those that did mostly did so in the final days, that no members of caucus did, that many of those who did finally step forward had little or nothing critical to say when it might of mattered and went along with Mulcair and praised and supported his leadership and the party's campaign until it catastrophically failed, and so on and so forth.

Having said all that, this is a triumph of what is left of the NDP grassroots.

Hopefully in its wake will come the real and comprehensive self-criticism, self-examination and internal democratization that needs to happen before the NDP can even to hope to reflect the values and purposes that it was created to and that it claims to.


Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.