As delegates gather for the 2016 Federal NDP Convention in Edmonton, everybody is discussing whether party leader Tom Mulcair will survive a leadership review. As important as this question is, what is far more important is what direction the party as a whole takes in the coming years.

American politics has been fundamentally transformed. For decades, anyone who would have described themselves as a “socialist” would have been viewed as some sort of extra-terrestrial. Today, Bernie Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist” draws massive crowds and is posing a threat to Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic Party nomination for upcoming presidential election this fall.

On January 20, the Bank of Canada downgraded its 2016 growth forecast for Canada from an already meagre 2 per cent to 1.4 per cent. “Highly uncertain” were the words chosen by the usually optimistic bank to describe the economic environment.

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