Sharon portrait from rabble_0

It took a few years for the Toronto Star to catch up with but it moved one step closer last week when it endorsed Jack Layton and the NDP. was way ahead of it.

The federal election of 2004 was on June 28. On June 27, 2004, this was the top story on rabble‘s front page:


We back Jack: rabble endorses the NDP

At, we usually let our readers and our writers speak for us. The people who work on rabble, paid and volunteer, have never before spoken out as a group. But on the eve of this federal election, we want you, our readers, to know where we stand. Progressive people can make a difference – but not by voting Liberal or Conservative. We believe our country can move forward if enough of us vote for the NDP on Monday, June 28. >by rabble staff >rabble news


It seems longer ago than it was. The nightmare of the Harper government was still ahead of us; in this election, we were fighting the Paul Martin Liberals. Jack Layton was a new leader, known well by people he had served as a municipal politician in Toronto and by NDP supporters across the country but not yet a household name.

The discussion we had at rabble that year wasn’t whether or not we supported Jack and the NDP. It was whether or not our organization, made up of paid staff, volunteers, babblers, supporters, freelance journalists and readers around the country, was being presumptuous to take on this endorsement without more consultation. I don’t remember that we had any complaints after the fact.

In our heart of hearts, we knew that Jack and the NDP wouldn’t win that election. The thought of not winning has never stopped people from waiting for a miracle, however. They increased their seat total and have never stopped having an effect on our country’s positions. In subsequent elections, they have continued to improve their seat count.

Just five weeks ago, they were counted out of contention and seen to be on their last legs. Whatever the final numbers are later today, it seems our country will have taken a positive step toward a better country.

The Torontoist endorsed the NDP also, with these words:


We have had almost a decade of cold, callous government from Stephen Harper’s Tories and to a lesser extent from Paul Martin’s Liberals before them. The Tories see government as an impediment; the Liberals all too often use it for inducement, to bribe voters into supporting the Grits rather than offering a coherent platform, as evidence by Michael Ignatieff’s scattershot campaigning in recent months. The NDP looks upon us and tells us that we are Canadians: that we are a society that believes in helping one another, in helping the downtrodden and weak, not because it is economically expedient or eventually profitable, but because it is right, and that this is worth fighting for.

That is why Jack Layton and his party have skyrocketed in the polls. That is why they deserve your vote, and our endorsement.


I couldn’t have put it any better.