Robert Fulford has a great piece in the NP about the dream like state of HM Loyal Opposition. Who knew that being a dipper led you to Hindu mysticism.
Jack Layton led the NDP more successfully than anyone else but what he led was as much a fantasy as a political party. Over five decades, under half a dozen different leaders, the NDP has evolved into a dream, a means of escape from ordinary life for those who feel the need of it. Layton's successor will be required to embrace an elaborate and much-loved fiction.
The way it's worked out, the central function of the NDP is to help members and supporters pretend that they are not living in a society built on capitalism. Democratic socialism is a fairy tale that they tell themselves as consolation for having to exist in a distressingly grubby, money-driven world. New Democrats don't like business, even if they happen to work for corporations. They know and have always known that the profit motive is not a good thing. Many of them are prosperous, many take pride in their expensive houses, exotic vacations and pensions administered on Bay Street. Some have inherited large sums of money. Even so, they don't care to be reminded that corporations make the comfort and convenience of their lives possible. They love their electronic devices but they don't wish to dwell on the fact that computers and iPads exist (and reach us at low prices) because of the burning desire to maximize profit. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), out of which the NDP grew in 1961, stated its principles as the Regina Manifesto of 1933. It advocated many ideas still dear to Canadians but made one point absolutely explicit: "No CCF Government will rest content until it has eradicated capitalism."