After some enthusiastic headlines about the party's membership numbers "soaring" and "tripling" in Quebec earlier this week, comes a dose of reality:
The NDP has attracted 11,200 new members since the launch of its leadership race in August, with the addition of 3,900 new card holders in Quebec providing the biggest boost.
Overall, the party has now 95,000 official supporters, up from 83,800 when Jack Layton died three months ago.
Still, Quebec continues to be under-represented in the race to find a new party leader with just 5.9 per cent of the party cards in the one-member, one-vote leadership race.
The 5.9% figure isn't the worrisome number for the NDP - that number is due to the fact that no one (not even some of their MPs) had membership cards in Quebec a few months ago. What's more relevant is that Quebecers made up just 35% of the new members the party has signed up during the leadership race. If the NDP keeps adding 12,000 members a month, with 35% coming from Quebec, Quebecers are going to cast just 15% of the votes in the leadership race.
This from a province home to over half the NDP's caucus. This from a province the NDP has recognized as a "nation" deserving special status in all areas...except leadership races apparently.
Maybe that's fair, but it's certainly not good news for a party hoping to build an organization in Quebec. And it's certainly not good news for Thomas Mulcair, who hopes to ride Quebec to victory.
Labels: NDP leadership race