OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh has emerged from the federal NDP’s national convention with a strong mandate from his party, but also unanswered questions about how he plans to beat the Liberals at their own game and deliver in 2019.
The three-day convention, which wrapped up Sunday, was Singh’s first since he was elected NDP leader in October, and a key opportunity for him to inject momentum into his party as it starts looking toward next year’s election.
The main highlight for many New Democrats was Singh’s rousing speech on Saturday, in which the NDP leader railed against inequality by defending taxes and big government while taking aim at foreign web giants, the “ultra-rich” and the Trudeau government.
More than 90 per cent of delegates subsequently voted against choosing a new leader, and many outside the main convention hall were expressing newfound optimism Sunday about the party’s chances in the next election.
Yet the party faces some harsh realities; public support for the party has barely moved over the past two years while the NDP has struggled with a shortage of cash and faces a fierce battle with the Trudeau Liberals for progressive voters across Canada.
Delegates also readily acknowledge Singh must raise his profile — a task made perhaps more difficult by the fact he does not hold a seat in the House of Commons.
The Canadian Press