Time for Jagmeet Singh to Take a Stroll in the Snow

It’s the goal of every serious political party: to govern. Or it should be!

But let’s keep it real: today’s federal New Democrats know full well that, with Jagmeet Singh as Leader, they have absolutely NO hope of forming Canada’s national government.

Singh has been NDP Leader since 2017, yet the party holds only 25 seats in the country’s 338-seat House of Commons: the Liberals 158; Conservatives 116; the NDP … even fewer than the Quebec-only Bloc, which has 32.

So the federal NDP is just coasting … content with simply exercising influence on the Liberal minority government, while NDP MPs fill their pockets with generous pay packages, enjoy their Parliamentary perks, privileges and expenses, and pad their generous public pension accounts.

It’s true the NDP, after signing a “Confidence and Supply Agreement” with the Liberals, has impacted plans for some future federal programs (notably pharmacare and dental care for low income Canadians).

But surely, any fourth-place political party that still considers itself worthy and viable to govern should remove major obstacles in its path to potential victory.

Singh is an obstacle.

It’s time for the federal NDP to give Canadians a VIABLE alternative to Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives.

Canadians spoke out loud and clear two years ago: they do NOT want Singh as Prime Minister.

With another federal election getting closer and closer, it’s time for Jagmeet to take a long , thoughtful walk in the snow … and announce he’s moving on.

Of course, with his current annual salary of $185,000, plus expenses, indemnities and perks, he may be reluctant to go.

He need not fear the future.

Singh would no doubt do very well as a University professor; community organization leader; public agency board member, BC MLA or Ontario MPP (again), a First Nations’ or Environmental consultant … or would fit in perfectly as a CBC commentator or as one of The National’s “woke” advocacy/propaganda producers!

And having served in Ontario as an MPP from 2011 to 2017 before becoming NDP federal Leader in 2017, getting elected in 2019 as an MP and re-elected in 2021 … I suspect his public pension purse is in much better shape than that of most Canadians.

For the good of the NDP’s future … IF the NDP does still does believe in itself and truly hopes to form a national government, Singh may need a push … and THIS is the time to do it.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld.ca on Twitter for FREE First Alerts of new postings on this provocative BC/national Blog.)

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14 Responses to Time for Jagmeet Singh to Take a Stroll in the Snow

  1. D. M. Johnston says:

    Singh displays the NDP’s decline into mediocrity and with the nice stipend being paid and future retirement benefits as a sitting party leader, he is not going until he is either voted out or forced out, kicking and screaming to stay.

    The NDP both federally and provincially have become a party of whingers, lost in a simplistic ethereal world that just does not exist today.

    Singh is just a symptom of the NDP, pretending to be one thing, but no different that the other brand-x’s in opposition. Their pandering to fringe groups and to the first nations, will further erode their base of support with the Canadian population.

    Provincially the NDP are desperately trying to buy the next election after a dreadfully botched party leadership campaign and with the NDP boasting they are a national party both federally and provincially, they are instead, somewhat akin to Trudeau’s daft post national status for Canada.

    Of course the diehards and acolytes of protest will support Singh, not to do so would mean, in their minds, they are racist and will go down with the sinking ship blaming everyone except them selves.

    As Rafe Mair once opined, to be a federal party leader, you must look like a party leader on the international stage and sadly Singh is not, nor will not look like a national leader, unlike the days of Tommy Douglas, Steven Lewis and Ed Broadbent.

    The NDP has sold out it principals, it’s history and soon its very existence to a cadre of self absorbed nobodies forever pretending they are somebody. History will not look kindly on the mob that today call themselves NDP.

    (Response: It should not be case, but the reality is voters almost always choose mostly by the impression they have of the party leader, rather than policies. Sometimes promises or local candidate impress …but if the leader does not “sell”, the party won’t either. Singh knows he’s toast; the NDP MPs know he’ll never be PM; and party supporters know under Singh, they check certain boxes, but WINNER is not one of them! h.o)

    • JC says:

      Stephen Lewis was Leader of the Ontario Provincial NDP, it was his father David who was Leader of the Federal NDP (1971 t0 1975) and someone like David Lewis would have absolutely no place in the modern NDP. In the post-WW2 CCF days, it was Lewis who fought to stop Communists from entering the Party. During the Cold War, leaders like Lewis and Tommy Douglas (as left wing as they were) knew which side was the right one. Lewis also fought off a hard left infiltration group called the ‘Waffle’ from taking over the Party in 1971. Lewis was also, and this is unimaginable on the modern Left, a fairly strong Zionist (along with trade union leaders like Denis McDermott, who opposed the creation of a Palestinian state and urged Israel to keep the West Bank and the Gaza). The last NDP MP to support Israel was Lorne Nystrom and he’s been out of Parliament for 20 years.

      Until 1989, the NDP was sort of an alliance between the big private sector Unions in Ontario and BC and the populist movement from the Prairies (which was fairly socially Conservative). That all ended after Ed Broadbent retired. As a result, Buzz Hargrove, the auto workers leader, pulled support for the NDP in 2006 and shifted to the Liberal Party. I believe the Steelworkers Union is also pretty lukewarm on the NDP nowadays too. The NDP only have one Federal seat in Saskatchewan (their historical heartland) and haven’t elected a Provincial Government there since 2003.

      Having lost private sector union support and the old populists on the Prairies, the NDP only have the activist/hard Left as their base, and you can’t form a Government with that (or even an Official Opposition). I honestly can’t think of a single MP in their caucus who could win around regular voters.

      (Response: At some point, NDP policy makers and strategists surely must realize putting their lot in with the extreme left environmentalists, First Nations give-us-billions activists and the anti-Israel pro terrorist Palestinian lobbyists will NEVER win them power in Canada. Never! h.o.)

  2. Not Sure says:

    Written on the same day as this post.


    The headline despite its claim is laughable and the rest of the story is behind a paywall so can’t tell if they were actually serious but the fact remains (if you believe polls) that Jagmeet Singh has the highest approval rating of any of the federal leaders.
    Singh 53%
    Trudeau 45%
    Poilievre 41%

    Here is the IPSOS site if you want the details.

    Of course this kind of poll is meaningless/misleading because Singh as popular as he may be is not going to get anywhere close to those votes. He might be everybody’s second choice and he is not under the same scrutiny as Trudeau and Poilievre.

    Under Singh, the NDP has maintained its tradtional support, popular vote in the mid to high teens. The 2011 election was an anomaly. Nobody expects the NDP to form government. And that won’t change no matter who becomes the next leader.

    I am wondering why you didn’t go after the more obvious guy to take a walk in the snow.

    (Response: It’s very easy for Singh to lead the polls. Trudeau is no longer a crowd-pleaser; Poilievre grates even many of those who say they could vote for him; and then there’s Singh … an articulate speaker in a position where he can promise everything to everyone, knowing full well he’ll NEVER be in power and have to do or pay for ANY of it! And I believe it’s a copout to be satisfied with “Nobody expects the NDP to form government. And that won’t change no matter who becomes the next leader.” Sad! Absolutely true for the next federal election …but with a new vibrant, credible leader, not an insurmountable challenge by the one following … IF the federal party gets back to a middle class, working people’s agenda. h.o)

    • e.a.f. says:

      Not Sure, saw those polls also. At times, such as when Broadbent was leader, the NDP leader would be voted most trusted, etc. but it didn’t translate into votes. Of course we don’t know how he would have done if he had not taken up the suggestion he retire. The party voted for a leader who took the NDP no where. Dave Barrett ran in that leadership raace, if I’m not mistaken. Then the NDP went with a bright politician, Alexa McDonaugh but again, the country wasn’t really ready for her either.

      Harvey historically the NDP was the party which pushed for social change and programmes and did have some effect. My take is Layton had such personality, leadership skills, he could have made it to P.M. had he not died.

      (Response: Layton had the leader-style personality, credibility and appeal that I’ve pointed to in other comment responses. Clearly, Canadians do not think Singh does: “leading” your party to a FOURTH place finish isn’t success. He should take that walk before the snow melts ..and announce he’s taking a job at the UN or some University. h.o)

  3. Gilbert says:

    Maybe the NDP thought that electing a Sikh was its ticket to success, but it’s clear that we have to elect people for more than merely their ethnic background. When Mr. Singh defended President Maduro in Venezuela, it was clear to me that he’s far-left and also that he had a very limited understanding of the situation in Venezuela.

    It’s incomprehensible to me why the NDP keeps Mr. Singh. He’s just an assistant to the prime minister, and he keeps him in power because he knows that there’s no guarantee that his political fortunes will increase in the next election. He gives me the impression that he’s in power to serve himself and not to serve the people.

    The NDP has far better candidates than Mr. Singh. A few who I can think of are Peter Julian and Charlie Angus. I’d never vote for them, but they would be far more competent leaders. It’s time for the party to accept that it made a mistake and rectify it. Otherwise it can probably look forward to even less influence in the future.

    (Response: The NDP should aspire to more than just propping up the Liberal party and government. It MUST appeal to more Canadians than just enough to elect 25 MPs across the country … and the way to do that is NOT by appealing to and catering to those at the margins of society, left-wing activists or intellectual elites, but the MAJORITY of voters, or at least enough to form government. The NDP needs to get back to targeting those in the center: working, taxpaying middle class voters … and it’s very clear …to do that, the party NEEDS a new Leader. They should thank Singh for his service ..and then replace him and move on … and not wait until they finish FOURTH in another election! h.o)

    • e.a.f. says:

      Peter Julian/?????? not so much. Just doesn’t have it to appeal to the country. Might be O.K. in b.C. but the rest of the country no. Charlie Angus, perhaps, but he is getting a tad older and we aging baby boomers are on our way out. Who ever the elect as leader, if they do, they will have to be much younger or at least look it.

      • Cora E McKinnon says:

        I agree about Peter Julian but the reason he would never make it as leader is because he is busy doing the job he is supposed to do. Whether you vote for NDP or not, if you have any problem with Ottawa his office or he, himself will help you find the department and people who can help you. They will follow up to ensure you have been helped. New West has almost always been NDP and we have been very lucky to have great people running. Since I really don’t have much faith in the rest of the party, Peter Julian would always get my vote but if I could vote for a different Prime Minister I would.
        I am not a party person and think none of them should be allowed to stay too long

        (Response: I have to wonder whether, behind the scenes, there are any stirrings or discussions that Singh has to go … or whether NDP MPs and strategists d believe that, even under a new leader, their party has no hope in the foreseeable future of forming government. h.o.)

  4. Keith says:

    Singh is the leader at present of the slide of the NDP since those orange wave heady days of 2011 when they were the official opposition with 103 seats.

    2015 they were looking to form government but crashed on voting day with 44 seats. Mulcair walked the plank but I’m not convinced that loss wasn’t inevitable. Jack Layton took the party to 103 seats from 13 based on his personality skills and abilities and convincing Quebecers to give them their vote. He was a hard act to follow and although Singh is sitting with 25 seats, are the NDP just reverting to their traditional place in the federal pecking order.?

    I fully agree with you Harvey it’s time for a change, a new face and the new broom, but would a new leader make much difference.? They could pick up seats where they were previously close and/or where the swing and soft liberal voters are tired of Trudeau and the Liberals but can’t vote conservative. But they would need bigger numbers from Quebec and I don’t see that happening.

    (Response: I think the leader is of utmost importance. A party can have all kinds of appealing policies and promises, but if their leader turns voters off, or worse, lacks credibility, they face an uphill battle; and the reverse is also true … sometimes a party can have a charismatic, attractive leader or great orator … who gets elected …and then turns out to be complete dud, idiot or charlatan. h.o)

  5. nonconfidencevote says:

    The NDP have earned their anti colonialist creds.
    One wonders when Singh will decide to leave.
    He won’t be pushed. How could they?
    Burn those Woke , politcally correct bridges with the young voters?
    The salary.
    The perks( Official opposition Leader, fawning media, etc etc etc).
    A tough act to follow.
    But he has unfinished business.
    Kennedy Stewart remains a debt he must repay.
    Kennedy the faithful servant gave his MP Burnaby South seat up (after he was elected as the disastrous Mayor of Van).
    Kennedy hasn’t been repaid that debt.
    Senator Kennedy has a nice ring to it …don’t you think?

    (Response: Senate appointees need not always be the “best” in their fields or people who have accomplished great things on behalf of the country. Sometimes appointees sure seem to get their “reward” for more questionable reasons: partisan fundraising expertise, political payoffs to loyalists or even being the right race or religion at the right time. So I’m sure Kennedy or Singh could qualify on some level. h.o)

    • D.M. Johnston says:

      Knowing the current NDP state of affairs, Singh has no more of a chance of being pushed out as Putin and at least in Canada, politicians do not get pushed out of a window!

  6. e.a.f. says:

    Most of us never expected Bob Rae to be elected Premier of Ontario, but there we were. So although many believe the NDP will never form federal government, never is a very long time and Notley did win in Alberta.

    It may depend upon how unhappy people become with the federal Liberals and how unapealling the Conservatives led by PP is. Then there is Quebec. They were a factor in Layton becoming the leader of the Opposition and then Nulcair.

    Electing Singh as leader was a good idea. However, Canadians are not ready for a practicing Skih to be P.M.Based on my observations of racism in Canada, blatent and less blatent, its still alive and well. Of course who would become the next leader of the NDP? If Notley is not elected Premier of Alberta, she may take a run at it. if there is an electin this year in Alberta we may find out. There maybe some one out there, who will fit the bill, haven’t’ paid much attention to the “health” of the party since coming to Vancouver Island and becoming a pensioner and senior citizen.

    I would not be overly surprised if the next leader of the federal NDP was some one who crossed over from the Greens, who aren’t going to make much headway in this decade. They are a rather fractueeared little party

    I’m quite happy to see Singh stay as leader of the NDP. Lets not make the mistake we made when some brain waves decided Broadbent ought to retire and we got no where for quite some time.

    (Response: To be sure, there are some Canadians who would not vote for Singh because he is Sikh, but I like to think most Canadians would not see that as the most determining factor. I believe the federal NDP’s problems are more fundamental: they are very sympathetic/focused on representing those in need or those simply on the take or who purposefully milk the system … but have failed to represent or appeal to middle of the road WORKING voters … the vast majority who get up every day, make money and pay heavy taxes. As for Singh himself, he’s good for a “clip” as we used to say in the news business, but many, many Canadians (including Sikh and ethnic minorities) were appalled at Singh’s FAILURE to really call out the Quebec government when it brought in a racist, discriminatory law that BANS observant Sikhs, Muslims, Jews from provincial government jobs because they are required to wear a turban, skull cap etc. Singh has been weak in speaking out for minorities inside Quebec … no hero there! And Canadians outside saw that. h.o)

  7. Gilbert says:

    Mr. Singh’s support in concentrated in parts of BC and Ontario. I doubt he’ll ever do well in Quebec. He doesn’t represent ordinary Canadians. Maybe he’s satisfied with his role in parliament, but the NDP won’t go anywhere under his leadership. For the sake of the party, he needs to quit.

    (Response: I’m sure Singh IS satisfied with his role: he des wield some influence over the Liberal government …and makes $185,000 a year, plus all kinds of perks and privileges, while doing it! But exactly as you say … For the sake of the party, he needs to quit.” And if he hangs on for yet another election … without any realistic hope of becoming even Official Opposition, let alone government … that would look to me like Singh is more motivated by self-interest than giving the NDP a chance to form government. h.o)

  8. R says:

    There’s always Trudeau foundation

  9. nonconfidencevote says:

    If South Burnaby MP Jaggy is going to take a “long walk in the snow”.
    May I suggest…..this weekend?

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