Originally Posted by Claudius
Technically speaking the NDP today (at least federally) are more of a centrist than a left wing party and the Liberal party is far more of a centre right party.
That being said, I've never subscribed to the popular theory that the NDP were responsible for a poor Ontario economy, but rather operating in a strong recession did that for them and a lot of the opposition parties found it easy to slam them (which sadly has stuck to this day).
Not to mention that Harris ended up spending more, wasting more, and creating more debt and endless crisis at a time when the economy was soaring. The main fault with the governing NDP then was that they backed down a bit and then gave the opening to be run down and run over by the opposing parties. In the end they couldn't defend their own policies, because they never really implemented their own policies. Their focus right now is quite right for these times - to get back to some social democratic ideals that are only to the left of center next to the radical playing to the rich that has gone on for the last two decades.
The NDP has a chance to truly govern outside of special interests now, precisely by becoming more centrist. They need to fill the vacuum that corporate power mongers have feasted on at our expense, and not worry so much about being purely socialist. And with Mulcair on board they have taken a good first step. I really hope Cullen has a strong role to play as well.