Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Liberals don't exist in NDP land

  • Print

MONTREAL -- Liberals, what Liberals?

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair largely ignored his main competition for progressive votes Saturday, delivering a speech to party members focused on criticism of the Conservatives and how the NDP will defeat them.

"We'll have to work harder than we ever have, and we'll have to work together. But I know we're up to the task," Mulcair told an enthusiastic crowd of roughly 2,000 in Montreal.

"In the next campaign, Conservatives will face an NDP election machine unlike anything they've ever seen. We're strong, we're united and we're determined."

Mulcair hardly mentioned the Liberals -- using the same tactic the Grits used against the NDP during previous elections -- ignoring their existence as he portrayed New Democrats as the only contender for power.

Mulcair's speech at the policy convention went through the contrasts between the NDP and the Tories, painting the election as a clear choice between two parties. Sustainable economic development has become Mulcair's main thrust.

Just prior to his remarks, Mulcair received a 92.3 per cent vote of confidence from party members. Late leader Jack Layton had received 97.9 in the month after the NDP's 2011 electoral breakthrough.

"It's time to rise above the cynicism that Mr. Harper relies on, and it's time to get our country working again, to make Canada a beacon of economic, environmental and social justice," said Mulcair.

"And to build lasting prosperity, not just for a few of us, but for each and every one of us. You've often heard me say that we'll be judged by what we leave to future generations. And that economic, social and ecological sustainability is the fundamental issue of our time."

Mulcair later got a boost from a top American organizer, former Obama-for-America national field director Jeremy Bird, there to extol the virtues of data analytics and grassroots outreach in campaigns.

Traditionally, Liberals and Democrats have regarded themselves sometimes as cousins, but Bird gave a clear endorsement to the New Democrats -- even taking shots at the Tories and Harper.

"I am sure that folks in this room have no doubt that defeating Stephen Harper in 2015 will make people's lives better," Bird said.

"Just like Democrats won in 2012, New Democrats can and will win in 2015."

Former Liberal leadership candidate Marc Garneau, an observer at the NDP convention, shrugged off Mulcair's positioning.

"I think (Canadians) are going to be tired of the Conservatives by the time that election rolls around, so the question is are they going to turn to the Liberals or are they going to turn to the NDP," said Garneau. "We intend to be the ones they turn to, but we know we have a lot of work to get there."

With an eye on 2015, the party leadership would like to see changes made to some of the party's identifying language. Delegates are considering making the preamble to their constitution more moderate, removing a reference to "social ownership."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 14, 2013 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Lawless in the Morning: Gary answers your questions (March 25)

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada goose makes takes flight on Wilkes Ave Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 Day goose a day challenge- Day 09- May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.

View More Gallery Photos


What do you think of Manitoba Hydro's deal to create a surface-parking lot to allow for construction of a new substation?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google