Mulcair couldn't "get her done" but that doesn't mean the ghost of Jack Layton has been exorcised from the NDP tent. Could a bitter civil war be in the offing?
Even the urbane Robin Sears, who's an old New Democrat backroom guy, associated the Leapers with the party's ancient struggles with Trotskyites and the Waffle movement. The Leapers, Sears said, were just the latest incarnation of the NDP's "Birkenstock Left." They posed a "fateful choice" for the NDP:
"It can once again indulge its tribal myths about public ownership and an Arctic nation kept affluent and warmed by thousands of acres of solar panels. Or it can pick up the baton that Jack Layton bequeathed to Thomas Mulcair, that of a serious national progressive party disciplined enough to be rewarded with power.
Lawrence Martin harmonized with Sears like Simon with Garfunkel: "Under the leadership of Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair, it was moving into the mainstream. Now, with the rejection of Mr. Mulcair at the Edmonton convention and the rise of the Leapers, it is returning to the days of dogma -- days when it didn't even pretend to be a serious contender for the prize of governance."
L. Ian MacDonald said the party had been "hijacked by the loony left."
And Tasha Kheiriddin of iPolitics speculated that the "hard-left" Leap Manifesto would win support from Quebec separatists, driving other Quebecers into the arms of the Trudeau Liberals in 2019.
It's hard to imagine how the Leap brigade and the centrist forces within the NDP can ever reconcile. Too much bitterness. There's probably going to have to be a winner and a loser and a betting man would not be putting the rent money on Leap.
Must sound like music to the ears of Elizabeth May.