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NDP still a little 'shocked' after membership votes for leadership race

Bruce Fuhr
By Bruce Fuhr
April 12th, 2016

A day after delegates at the NDP convention in Edmonton kicked its leader to the sidelines Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski remains perplexed at what just happened.

Stetski, back in Ottawa Monday preparing for the next round of Parliament, said he was certainly “surprised” as to what he witnessed at the party convention.

“Of course there was some expectation there would be a range of support among the delegates and among the members, but 52 percent in favour of a leadership review certainly was a shock to virtually everybody at the convention,” Stetski said from Ottawa.

The stunning vote to oust leader Thomas Mulcair came after more that half the party’s rank-and-file at the convention voted for a leadership race.

Mulcair not only failed to garner the 70-per-cent endorsement generally accepted to survive as leader, but also was unable to secure the 50-per-cent plus one the party’s constitution requires for him to even try to make a case for his continued leadership.

However, Stetski attempted to put a positive spin on what has to be a some pretty trying times for a party that was hoping to form the next government prior to the October 2015 Federal Election.

“The future is very bright,” Stetski said.

“We’re going to be seeking a new leader that is potentially going to be the future Prime Minister of Canada so that is an exciting process to be part of.”

No one in the party has committed to running for the NDP leadership yet.

Stetski said there are many solid candidates in the party, including the NDP caucus who may step forward.

Despite seeing Muclair, who plans to remain as leader until a replacement is elected, removed, Stetski had nothing but good things to say about the man who, just eight months ago, had a shot at becoming Canada’s first New Democrat prime minister.

“Tom remains as our leader, and I do want to pay my due respects to Tom,” Stetski said.

“He worked very hard during the election. He’s a great parliamentarian . . . worked very hard after the election to help determine what can be improve moving forward. So I have nothing but respect for Tom Mulcair.”

“But we are a democratic party and our membership has spoken very clearly so we’re going to move forward and find our next leader to take us into the 2019 election,” Stetski adds.

Categories: Politics

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