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Racism and the New Brunswick NDP defections

Rebecca Rogers in Fredericton

September 6, 2019

The NDP in New brunswick took a hit this week when 14 members quit the party to join the Green Party. Most of those who quit had been candidates in the last provincial election although one was the provincial representative on the executive of the federal party, Jonathan Richardson, who is also spokesperson for the group of defectors. There is confusion about how many people actually left the party (some members have said they didn't actually leave) and that will get sorted out but the story is still deeply disturbing.

Richardson basically gave two reasons for the defection. The first is that somehow the Green's are more progressive than the NDP. Although one can argue that the NDP has become less progressive over the last while, they are making an effort to become more progressive. The Greens on the other hand have declared they would prop up a minority Conservative government, something the NDP has already said it would not do. Not to mention that the Greens are not even that good on the environment, wanting to continue pumping out bitumin from the tar sands and supporting pipelines to help bring that bitumin to market.

The other reason that they defected from the party is the more despicable. It is, and they readily admit this, racism. They are saying that the NDP cannot win in New Brunswick because Jagmeet Singh is leader of the party. And they are doubling down on their racism by claiming its the North of the province that is the problem. The North being predominantly francophone. Although they did claim that the south was also barren land for the NDP.

The only good thing about this is that the NDP is rid of a group of racist in the party, And they are now the Green Party's problem. This does, however, create a problem for the NDP in that as of right now the party has no candidates in New Brunswick and they just lost some potential candidates in this defection. Although they will probably have a full slate by the time the nomination period is over.

Also the NDP has been its own worst enemy here in New Brunswick. Jagmeet Singh has never come to the province, nor has any major figure from the party. So people don't realize what it is that the party stands for. Not to mention that the provincial party got rid of the best leader they have had since Elizabeth Weir back in the 1990's. But she had the audacity to call herself a socialist during the election campaign.

None of this means that we should not support the NDP in the upcoming federal election. The fact is, whatever its shortcomings, the NDP is the only truly progressive party that supports working people. So don't let a small group of racists stop you from voting NDP.



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