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Manifesto for an Independent Socialist Canada splits NDP in 1969

The Story


Mel Watkins has a vision for the New Democratic Party, but it's not one that all members agree on. Along with James Laxer, Watkins is the chief architect of the Manifesto for an Independent Socialist Canada and the movement that has become known as the Waffle. At the party's 1969 convention, Watkins and party deputy leader David Lewis are both seen speaking. The CBC's Ron Collister sums up the split in opinion about the direction of the party and describes it as "a party trying to cure its political schizophrenia." 

Medium: Television
Broadcast Date: Nov. 1, 1969
Program: Weekend
Host: Lloyd Robertson
Reporter: Ron Collister
Guests: David Lewis, Mel Watkins
Duration: 4:07

Did You know?


• Though the term "Waffle" is not used in this report, that is the best-known name for the movement within the NDP that produced the Manifesto for an Independent Socialist Canada.

• In the NDP leadership race of 1971, James Laxer ran for the job against the more establishment candidate David Lewis. Lewis won. 


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