Saturday, January 15, 2011

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...ONDP joins PC's in party civil wars

We've heard plenty about the ongoing failure of Tim Hudak's leadership to keep a lid on party and factional leadership in his PC caucus (see:, and, and and

But a story that has somewhat flown under the radar is the problems Andrea Horwath has had with maintaining unity in the ONDP under her leadership. The left wing of the party is now in open revolt, and Michael Laxer, a 3 time NDP candidate and son of James Laxer, seems to be following in his fathers footsteps and has been working to set up a "Democratic Socialist alternative" to the ONDP of Horwath. His Ginger Project had previously been working within the offical confines of the ONDP, but now it looks like he is threatening to take the group into a real party, and take on the NDP from the left.

The group will have its first convention this summer, the same time an ONDP convention was expected (and I believe, should have happened under the party rules) but cancelled, in large part due to rumours that Horwath would face weak leadership numbers after some uninspiring election returns for the NDP in Ontario under Horwath (ONDP candidates in the by-elections in Ottawa West-Nepean and Leeds-Grenville actually lost percentages of the vote compared to 2007, and barely moved in St. Paul's, with the strong result in Toronto Centre being much more a function of Cathy Crowe being a star candidate than any Horwathmania. Additionally, the federal NDP candidate in the Vaughan by-election pretty much ran an anti-HST campaign with messaging taken directly from the ONDP, and ended up with 1.7% of the vote) and an organized campaign against her from the party left led by a combination of the Ginger Project and anti-Catholic school activists who were alligned with Michael Prue's leadership campaign.

Laxer and the Ginger Project have taken issue with what they see as Horwath's move to the centre, with her using slogans like "Not your grandfather's NDP" - a common leftist rebuttal to this have been "Unfortunate, because my grandfather's NDP was the party of Tommy Douglas."

Be it Landowners or Ginger Projects, both Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath are facing some pretty well organized undercurrents within their parties that they haven't had the leadership to confront.


Michael Laxer said...

Hey least you might have avoided ripping off my work when writing your Lib bullshit.
I wrote an article under that title months ago.
A+ for lack of originality...but that is kind of a Liberal trait...right?
Can't think for yourself, so rip off others?

The Liberal Scarf said...

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to swear and using ageist language against a 22 year old blogger.

I'd like to point out that "Stuck In The Middle With You" was written in 1972, and unless Michael Laxer is a clever nom de guerre of Stealers Wheel, I would call into question your claims of originality.