Politics·CBC Forum

How should the NDP change?

The NDP's post-mortem of its 2015 election campaign concluded the party's offer last year "was out of sync with Canadians' desire for a dramatic break" from Stephen Harper's Conservatives. Meanwhile, the party's president says the NDP is "too white." What do you think? How should the NDP change?

NDP self-criticizes, calling itself 'too white' and 'out of sync with Canadians'

An NDP supporter looks on as results come in at the NDP federal election night headquarters in Montreal last October. How should the NDP change? (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

The NDP's post-mortem of its third-place finish in the 2015 election campaign concluded the party's offer last year "was out of sync with Canadians' desire for a dramatic break" from Stephen Harper's Conservatives.

Meanwhile, the party's president says the NDP is "too white." Leader Tom Mulcair's grasp on the top job seems tenuous ahead of its policy convention in Edmonton next weekend.

How should the NDP change?

Readers shared their thoughts in today's CBC Forum — a live, hosted event about topics of national interest.

(Please note that user names are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the user name to see the comment in the blog format.)

The NDP should...

Reconsider its tone

"In terms of leadership, Tom Mulcair's constant personal slighting of Justin Trudeau in serious leadership debates was glaringly and disturbingly inappropriate. The negative perception was made worse by their seeming inability to hear feedback: The economic platform didn't change and Mr. Mulcair kept insulting Mr. Trudeau, even after many commented on it. I couldn't tell if it was arrogance, rigidity, deafness or just not ready for prime time. I didn't care what the reason was; they just looked less and less like a governing party as the election went on." — Nick Wright

"The NDP needs to re-examine its self-image as 'the moral conscience of Parliament.' This ingrained attitude smacks of moral superiority that excuses everything. That's what allows you to promise big spending and a balanced budget: 'Don't worry, we're the NDP and we always do the right thing.' But no one other than true believers is impressed." — Nick Wright

Replace Mulcair

"The party needs to elect a better leader, someone who can really sell their ideas. Mulcair does not sound like he believes the things he says and, at least in my opinion, he does a very poor job of convincing me to support their party. I identify as someone on the left, but I can't bring myself to trust the NDP. They need a better speaker as their leader, someone who's consistent in their ideals (not doing what the NDP did last election and moving further right). A new, stronger face of the party would go a long way in selling their platform to the public, I feel." — Aidan 

Increase party diversity

"We must build a broad-tent party that welcomes in many divergent voices, all united along similar principles. Only by diversifying the core of our party leadership can we engage with civil-society groups and the broader diversity of the public who support our politics but do not vote for our party. Renewal must be comprehensive and reaffirm our commitment to social justice, environmental stewardship and democracy. This can only happen through empowering the diversity of voices that have always strengthened our movement and doing our utmost to uphold transparency and democracy." — wololo

​Swing left

"When the NDP abandoned its socialist roots, it became indistinguishable from every other middle-of-the-road political party. The only way it will survive is to differentiate itself from the other political parties and the best way of doing this is to become a real left-wing party." — Neil Gregory

"I believe to succeed the NDP must become more left-leaning, such as governments of Scandinavian countries. Unbridled capitalism has gone too far and is largely the reason for dramatic social inequality, as well as the environmental mess we find ourselves in today. The NDP was traditionally further left than the Liberals; I think a significant percentage of Canadians would warm up to another political option." — John Pedersen

"NDP will not win voters by absorbing the policies of the mainstream Liberals or Conservatives. Those policies are already represented — in media, in our politicians and in the legislative decisions being made. And for growing numbers of human beings every year, those policies are failing. We need an alternative — a good, old-fashioned socialist democrat party that puts people first. NDP is best suited to take that on, but in almost every election, they take a sharp turn to the right. It doesn't work." — ninamarie

Can't see the forum? Click here.

With files from CBC's John Paul Tasker, Janyce McGregor and Aaron Wherry

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