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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.