|The Leap Manifesto|
After having a leader and a campaign that completely misread the electorate and botched their best chance at power in their history, some very smart people are deciding to do a complete 180 and start missing the point in the other direction with the support of the incredibly crazy Leap Manifesto.
Here's the thing: Canadians didn't vote Liberal because they went full on left-wing last election, they voted Liberal because they wanted a break from Harper's right-wing government. Canadians were looking for a break, but honestly it was more about a difference in style but not necessarily in substance. Yes, our government is a little more to the left than Harper's on a lot of issues, and I believe our priorities and our passions are more aligned with Canadians - but this ain't no revolution, folks, and that is what Canadians wanted. Mulcair failed because he decided to stick so closely to the Harper script that people had a hard time recognizing him, beard or no.
The Leap Manifesto though? That platform is a left swing so far out there that you'll have trouble seeing the electorate in the rear-view mirror as you speed past it. Differentiate yourselves, sure, but you don't need to fully separate yourselves from reality.
Now, I will 100% throw my support behind the NDP endorsement of the Leap Manifesto, but that is mostly because I enjoy watching Dippers immolate themselves. Current party leaders, however, like Rachel Notley and Andrea Horwath, are moderates looking to be elected (or re-elected in Notley's case) in a few years time. They will not be as amused as I.
The Leap Manifesto, if adopted, would absolutely destroy the Alberta NDP. Despite running the most fossil fuel industry friendly government in the country, they are still constantly accused of being eco-communists who will forest over the oil sands. Federal party adopts the Leap Manifesto, in Edmonton no less? Suddenly it all seems validated, and say goodbye to your only government.
In Ontario, the provincial Liberals seem set for a reckoning, but would kill for the chance to paint the NDP with the Leap Manifesto. Horwath already has something of a reputation as someone willing to do whatever it takes to get power, suddenly the presentation of the priorities in the Leap Manifesto come forth and suddenly Kathleen Wynne and Patrick Brown start talking about the true agenda of the NDP, scaring the bejeezus out of the suburban voters who they've spent so long trying to court. Or it could go in the other direction, with Wynne pointing out how the flaky New Democrats can't seem to get their priorities straight, instead blowing to and fro based on what they perceive to be the momentum from an election several years past (an idea we Liberals are painted with all too often).
There is also an election in BC where this could come into play. The Liberals are going for a fifth term, and by all rights they should be taken out by a revitalized NDP, but John Horgan is hardly inspiring and has already decided to take stands that cost his predecessor a chance at becoming Premier. Add in the Leap Manifesto, and while a few granolas in Vancouver and Victoria might be grateful, the large majority of BCers will not be. Christy Clark re-elected, again.
Listen, Dippers, you can sit there and be the conscience of Canadians all you want, that's fine - so long as you truly are our conscience, and not the ramblings of a hipster stuck in a Marx-inspired high.