The federal NDP is asking its supporters to rate Jagmeet Singh’s performance as the leader approaches his one-year anniversary at the helm of the party amid financial woes and sliding polls.
In a survey sent this week, the NDP asks members and those on its e-mail list to evaluate Mr. Singh on a scale of 1 to 5, pictured as Facebook-style “thumbs up” icons.
“Jagmeet Singh will have been the leader of our party for one year on October 1st. How do you think he’s doing?” the survey asks.
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It also asks members to vote on the party’s performance over all.
“How well do you think Canada’s NDP as a whole has been performing over the last year?”
The survey comes as newly released financial documents show the NDP's fundraising fell last year, although the party says it has picked up this year. It raised less than $5-million in 2017 and ended the year with negative net assets of $3.1-million, although the party still owns the Jack Layton building in downtown Ottawa, which NDP spokesman Guillaume Francoeur says brings the balance into positive. The party also drew $1.45-million from its line of credit last year.
Mr. Francoeur said the survey was sent out as part of a yearly campaign to connect with those on the party’s e-mail list and on social media. “The survey is mainly focused on donor intentions and aims at identifying what motivates an individual to donate to the party. There were only two questions out of 24 about the leader and the Party’s performance,” he said in an e-mail.
“The methodology used isn’t scientific, therefore, the results won’t be released publicly.”
The NDP survey also asks supporters to choose their top priority for the fall, including Indigenous rights, health and pharmacare, climate change and tax fairness. Last year’s survey elicited more than 11,000 responses, the party said.
Mr. Singh won 91 per cent support in a leadership review at the party’s convention in Ottawa last February. But he has faced setbacks over the past year, including with caucus unity, because he has not had a seat in Parliament. He recently announced he will be running in the coming Burnaby South by-election in British Columbia that will be created when the current NDP MP resigns his seat to run for Vancouver's mayoralty. A recent Nanos poll put support for the federal NDP at just less than 16 per cent, compared with 20 per cent in late 2017.
It was also revealed on Thursday that Mr. Singh won't let MP Erin Weir run as a New Democrat in the next general election in October, 2019. In a letter to Mr. Weir, the NDP Leader said he isn’t confident the Saskatchewan MP won’t repeat the harassing behaviour that got him kicked out of caucus last spring.
But 67 former New Democratic MPs and MLAs from Saskatchewan have now written to all NDP members of Parliament, accusing Mr. Singh of denying Mr. Weir due process and unfairly maligning his character, while flouting the party's constitutional rules for dealing with harassment complaints.
Several veteran NDP MPs – including the party’s lone Alberta MP, Linda Duncan, Quebec MP Hélène Laverdière and Ontario MP David Christopherson – have announced they are not running in the next election.
With a report from the Canadian Press