Jacobin Radio: Tribute to Ed Broadbent

Ed Broadbent died January 11, 2024. Suzi speaks with the co-authors of Ed's recent book, Seeking Social Democracy: Seven Decades in the Fight for Equality. We also hear clips from Ed during his long political career.


Ed was the very popular leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) in Canada, first elected to the House of Commons in 1968 from Oshawa, Ontario, and always at the forefront of the parliamentary struggle for democratic socialism. Ed was also Vice President of the Socialist International. In 2011, he founded the Broadbent Institute, a think tank. Seeking Social Democracy: Seven Decades in the Fight for Equality isn’t a memoir per se: Ed thought most political memoirs ended up being self-serving and self-justifying. He wanted to discuss the ideas he tried to exemplify and win while he was leader of the NDP in Parliament and afterwards with the Broadbent Institute. To do this, he engaged in dialogue with three collaborators, Carleton University Professor Frances Abele, policy analyst Jonathan Sas, and Jacobin writer Luke Savage, each from different generations. They dive deep into the theory and practice of social democracy.


In the postscript to the book, Ed leaves us with an enduring vision and his hopes for what is to be done to build the good society for today and the future. He writes: "To be humane, societies must be democratic—and to be democratic, every person must be afforded the economic and social rights necessary for their individual flourishing... Social democracy alone offers the foundation upon which the lives of people everywhere can be made dignified, just, and exciting."


Jacobin Radio with Suzi Weissman features conversations with leading thinkers and activists, with a focus on labor, the economy, and protest movements.


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