Whither Left Electoral Politics in Toronto?

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1536 ... January 8, 2018

Whither Left Electoral Politics in Toronto?

Tim Heffernan

On the international field, we’ve seen the rise of left wing movements such as Bernie Sanders (USA), Jeremy Corbyn (UK), Podemos (Spain). On Canadian home turf, there has also been the rise of Quebec Solidaire in Quebec. On the other hand, there has been right wing populism such as Donald Trump (USA) and the increased support for right wing nationalist groups in Europe (the Catalan nationalist movement being a notable exception). At the local level, in Canada, we’ve seen this year, the success (victory) of Valérie Plante and her party, Projet Montréal, in the mayoralty/Council elections in Montreal, plus the near victory of Jean Swanson in a Vancouver city council by-election. South of the border, on November... 7, we saw another almost win from Ginger Jentzen, like Kshama Sawant, a member of Socialist Alternative. On the same day, there were significant wins for candidacies of Left Democrats running with the endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Two years ago I wrote an article in The Bullet on this subject. The stimulus for the article came from my experience of spending a week in Seattle working on the campaign to reelect Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant as a city councillor. Reflecting on the Sawant victory, I got to thinking about my adopted home town of Toronto and whether it would be possible to repeat the Sawant success here. The two years since the Sawant election and today have seen significant changes in the political situation -- internationally, nationally and at municipal level.

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