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September 10, 2017

The NDP Federal Leadership Debate in Vancouver


Early this Sunday morning, we attended the Vancouver meeting of the NDP Socialist Caucus. It was a first for your faithful scribe. It proved to be an interesting meeting of fellow travellers, though G. G. Blynn, our publicist and crisis management consultant, expressed disappointment that we didn't address each other as comrades.




At the close of the meeting we marched down to the York Theatre on Commercial Drive for the final Leadership Debate for the national New Democratic Party. Well, it wasn't quite a march. Blynn wheeled themselves of course, and for the rest of us, if not a march, it was most decidedly: a brisk walk.





A few years ago The York was rescued from demolition and fully restored. Now this 100 year-old artifact from history is part of the The Cultch's group of venues. The York seats 370 and every seat was taken, and the nearby Wise Hall was commissioned and took another 250! The NDP isn't about to become an artifact from history.



An over-flow crowd of over 600.









Leadership hopeful Charlie Angus arrived early to do some hobnobbing with the crowd, though we didn't see him as he had advanced further down the line, a queue that went down the block and around the corner.




We did meet and greet Guy Caron and managed to impress him in both official languages.



Guy Caron & Libby Davies









Finally we entered the grand hall, and the show began.


Niki Ashton, your correspondent's first choice for leader, attended in a digital kind of fashion, on a screen. Niki is pregnant, expecting twins, and unable to travel by air,and the millisecond delay in the satellite transmission caused, to Jeem, an eerie Max Headroom kind of flashback.

In the lead-up to the actual debate, Charlie Angus entertained the assembled with several songs and a personable kind of humour that he wears extremely well, and while Jagmeet Singh, the most fashionably attired politician in Canada, might be funny, he was all-seriousness today.

























Guy Caron was calm, comfortable and looking every bit the Quebecer he is, unlike Justin Trudeau who only pretends-to-be when it suits him.

In his closing remarks he said that when he began his leadership campaign the common remark was "Who is that guy?" but now it's more likely to be, "I like that Guy." 







After 90 minutes, the debate ended. Not boring. No, not boring. Last one left on-stage was Niki Ashton, which coincides with your reporter's unchanged ranking preference: Niki,then Guy.

Photos by Jeem. 
Copyright 2017 by Jim Murray.

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