NDP president predicts multiple ballots in leadership showdown
NDP President Marit Stiles on CTV's Question Period.
Published Saturday, September 30, 2017 7:00AM EDT
OTTAWA – Results of the first ballot of the federal NDP leadership race will be revealed tomorrow in Toronto, but the president of the party is predicting a winner won't be crowned just yet.
"I'm expecting the race will continue on to at least one more ballot, if not two," NDP President Marit Stiles said in an interview on CTV’s Question Period that’s airing Sunday. "That’s what we're planning for."
There are four candidates in the running: Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton, Guy Caron, and Jagmeet Singh.
Party members started voting for their pick to replace Tom Mulcair on Sept. 18. There are 124,620 members eligible to vote in the leadership race.
To win, a candidate has to receive more than 50 per cent of the vote. If no candidate has clinched a majority after the first round, the candidate with the least votes is dropped from the ballot and the rounds of voting continue until a winner is named.
If required, as Stiles predicts, the round two and round three voting announcements are scheduled for Sun. Oct, 8 in Montreal and Sun. Oct, 15 in Ottawa respectively.
The ballots are preferential, allowing voters to rank their leadership choices. Members can vote by mail-in ballot, or online. If voting online, members are able to change their vote in the week between each round.
"I think it's going to be closer than people think," Avi Lewis, strategic director of the Leap Manifesto, said on CTV’s Question Period.
Ahead of the new leader being named, party insiders shared their vision for the party going forward, and their thoughts on what the party needs to recover from a disappointing 2015 campaign that saw the party lose seats, dropping them from official opposition status to third party.
"What the NDP needs is a leader who can do what they all say they want to do, which is be the Bernie/Corbyn, [and] actually capture the energy and the excitement of the transformative left which is unfolding with stunning success and impact in other countries," he said, adding that he doesn’t think any of them have done enough to get there yet.
New Democrat insider Brian Topp said the key will be authenticity.
"We don’t do well when we’re trying to be something that we’re not," he said.
"We are condemned to be ourselves. At the end of the day the New Democrats don’t succeed by trying to out-Liberal the Liberals. We have a different offer, and a different offer is a social democratic party that is bold, and strong, and clear about what it wants to do, and is interested in results as well as in process," said Topp.
Stiles said the party should stay on its current track.
"We know what our vision is, we know what our values are, and what we’re looking for right now is the leader who is going to lead us into the next election and help us build that movement."
She said the party could find success in highlighting the unfulfilled promises of the Justin Trudeau government.
"Many of those promises are things that New Democrats have talked about for many years," she said.