|Leader of the New Democratic Party|
July 7, 1975 - December 5, 1989
|Member of Parliament|
for Ottawa Centre
June 28, 2004 - January 23, 2006
|Member of Parliament|
June 25, 1968 - February 1, 1990
John Edward Broadbent
March 21, 1936
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
|Political party||New Democratic|
|Residence||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Toronto|
|Profession||politician, professor, pilot|
John Edward "Ed" Broadbent (born March 21, 1936) is a Canadian social-democratic politician, political scientist, and chair of the Broadbent Institute, a policy thinktank. He was leader of the New Democratic Party from 1975 to 1989. In the 2004 federal election, he returned to Parliament for an additional term as the Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre.
In 1961, he married Yvonne Yamaoka, a Japanese-Canadian town planner whose family was interned by the federal government in World War II. They divorced in 1967. On September 22, 1988, when Brian Mulroney's government apologized for the internment, Broadbent brought up Yamaoka's experiences during his remarks in the House of Commons.
He has a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in political science from the University of Toronto (1966), and his PhD thesis, was The Good Society of John Stuart Mill. He is currently a fellow in the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University, Canada.
He was a university professor when he won an election to the Canadian House of Commons in the riding of Oshawa--Whitby during the 1968 general election. He defeated a former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister, Michael Starr, by 15 votes. Broadbent ran for the leadership of the party but lost to David Lewis at the 1971 leadership convention. He won the 1975 leadership election to succeed Lewis and led the party through four elections.
In his early years as leader of the party, Broadbent was criticized for his long and complex speeches on industrial organization, but he came to be known as an honest and charismatic politician in person. He was one of the first Canadian politicians to stage a large number of political events in the workplace.
The NDP finished with 30 seats in the 1984 federal election, just ten behind the Liberal Party of Canada, led by John Turner. Several polls later showed that Broadbent was the most popular party leader in Canada. Broadbent was the first leader who ever took the NDP to first place in public opinion polling, and some pundits felt that the NDP could supplant Turner's Liberals as the primary opposition to the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada of Brian Mulroney.
Nonetheless, Broadbent was not successful in translating this into an election victory in the 1988 federal election since the Liberals reaped most of the benefits from opposing the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement. However, the NDP won 43 seats, a record unchallenged until the 2011 federal election, when the NDP won 103 seats and Jack Layton became the leader of the opposition.
Broadbent stepped down after 15 years as federal leader of the NDP at the 1989 Winnipeg Convention, when he was succeeded by Audrey McLaughlin. In the decade following Broadbent's retirement from politics, the federal NDP declined in popularity. The party would not come close to the popularity that it had enjoyed under Broadbent until Layton took over the leadership in 2003.
Broadbent was director of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development from 1990 to 1996. In 1993, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 2001.
Broadbent spent a year as Fellow at All Souls College, University of Oxford, in 1996-1997. At Layton's invitation, he returned to politics in 2004. With the aid of a humorous and popular video clip, he successfully ran for Parliament in the riding of Ottawa Centre, where he now lives. He defeated the Liberal candidate Richard Mahoney, a close ally of Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.
In the NDP shadow cabinet, Broadbent was Critic for Democracy: Parliamentary & Electoral Reform, Corporate Accountability as well as Child Poverty.
On May 4, 2005, he announced that he would not seek re-election in the 2006 federal election so that he could spend time with his wife, Lucille, who was suffering from cancer. She died on November 17, 2006.
Broadbent's third wife, Ellen Meiksins Wood, whom he married in 2014, died of cancer at the couple's Ottawa home at 73 in January, 2016. She was a noted political theorist and socialist historian, author of a number of books and a professor at York University for three decades.
|2004 Canadian federal election:|
|New Democratic||Ed Broadbent||25,734||41.05||$75,600.35|
|Canadian Action||Carla Marie Dancey||76||0.12||–|
|Total valid votes|
|Total rejected ballots|
In November 2008, Broadbent and former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien came out of retirement to help to negotiate a formal coalition agreement between the Liberals and the New Democratic Party, which would be supported by the Bloc Québécois. The coalition was formed in a bid to replace the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and would have been the first in Canada since World War I. However, the coalition talks died down after Governor General Michaëlle Jean prorogued parliament in December 2008 at Harper's request.
Broadbent has voiced his support for the Campaign for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, an organization that advocates for democratic reform in the United Nations, and the creation of a more accountable international political system.
On June 17, 2011, he announced the creation of the Broadbent Institute to explore social-democratic policy and ideas. It provides a vehicle for social-democratic and progressive academics, provides education, and trains activists. It is independent of the New Democratic Party.