News, Politics

Mulcair Elected As Leader Of NDP, Official Opposition

Thomas Mulcair March 2012Thomas Mulcair is the new leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP).

Mulcair was elected, after a gruelling 12 hours of voting, at the NDP’s convention on the weekend.

The NDP is the political party that is Canada’s “official opposition” to the country’s governing party, the Conservatives.

As leader of the federal NDP, Mulcair will also become the leader of the Official Opposition.

The NDP had to elect a new leader after their last leader, Jack Layton, passed away from cancer in August 2011.

Layton was revered by NDP members and helped shape the party. He was a driving force that helped them become Official Opposition for the first time in the party’s history. His presence was felt throughout the convention in signage and speeches, including a moving speech by his wife, Olivia Chow.

Mulcair was elected by thousands of NDP members gathered at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto, plus tens of thousands more who voted in advance polls or online.

One reason the voting took so long is that the NDP’s online voting system was hacked. Someone broke in to the software, presumably to vandalise it. However, the intruder was noticed and stopped before anything bad could happen; the NDP says it didmulcair tweet not affect the vote. However, the incident created a big delay, with the scheduled two-hour waits between each of the four ballots stretching into four hours each.

Mulcair beat out second-place rival Brian Topp.

After his win, Mulcair took to Twitter with a simple message for his supporters:

Thank you. // Merci.

By Jonathan Tilly & Joyce Grant

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Technology is becoming a bigger part of politics every day. You may know about the robo-call scandal (read TKN’s latest article on it here) and in last weekend’s NDP election the voting software was hacked. Why is technology such an important tool for today’s politicians?

Reading Prompt: Demonstrate Understanding
Write the five key words from today’s article. Next, write a summary of today’s article in five sentences or less. How does knowing key ideas and names help someone write a short but thorough summary?

Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by identifying important ideas
and some supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important
ideas and citing supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing
important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea(OME, Reading: 1.4).

Grammar Feature: Suffixes
A suffix is a letter or a group of letters that are added to the end of a word. When added to the end of a word, suffixes change the meaning of the root word. Different suffixes change the meaning of the root word differently. For example, today’s article includes the root word “politic”. But today’s article also includes this root word with suffixes too: “political,” politics,” and “politicians.”

Find five words in today’s article that have a suffix attached. Write down the root word and three different suffixes that could be added to its end. How do the different suffixes change the root word’s meaning?