The 21st century New Democratic Party: the cycle of leadership confidence
LE3 .A278 2016
Bachelor of Arts
The objective of this thesis is to compare the evolution of the New Democratic Party over the 21st century to determine if heading into the 2011 election the party attempted to leave its ideological roots as a democratic socialist party in exchange for the opportunity to become Canada’s newest brokerage party. The idea of the NDP becoming a brokerage party is born out of the NDP skyrocketing to the position of Official Opposition in the House of Commons after being a fringe party since their inception, never rising higher than the third largest party in the House. By comparing the party’s election platform policy, election strategy and leadership qualities, one can determine whether the NDP became a brokerage party. According to this analysis, the party platform over the first 15 years of the century remained the same with the platform still being rooted in democratic socialism. The election strategy of the NDP within Quebec since Layton became the leader in 2004 to win elections was not created to broker power, but instead it was to combat the first past the post electoral system. Finally the leader of the NDP represents a salesperson that sells the platform of potential party policy that created the NDP. The leader is not a chief broker as described by Kenneth Carty who has complete control of the party and creating policy. In conclusion, the leaders of the NDP experience a cycle of confidence, and after years at the helm of the party, a leader manages to build a larger base that is constructed on their traditional base. Thus it is the belief that 2015 was not an election loss but a return to their ordinary election expectations under a new leader in Thomas Mulcair.
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