Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Why Canada Needs the NDP

Having started the "Why Canada needs the NDP" discussion topic, I'll take a few minutes to put forward my thoughts on what the NDP offers which sets it apart in Canadian federal politics.

Canada needs a party whose progressive principles don't turn on a dime based on the polls, yet which holds enough clout to get those principles turned into policy.

Canada needs a party which recognizes that the development of social goods enriches the lives of individual Canadians - and conversely that excessive decentralization and delegation leave a void which can't be filled by lower levels of community.

As pointed out by Kenn, Canada needs a party which will fight for minority rights even when victory isn't a foregone conclusion.

Canada needs a party which recognizes that national prosperity isn't measured solely through corporate profits and upper-class incomes.

Canada needs a party which sees democracy and accountability as fundamental values to be applied both internally and in the political system as a whole - not as luxuries to be discarded when inconvenient, or as punishments to be inflicted on others.

Canada needs a party which recognizes that government can do good - and which doesn't see that fact as an excuse to do good for its friends first and the public second.

Ultimately, Canada needs a political conscience. And while I hope to see the NDP keep increasing its stature and eventually form government, that role is one which no other party or group can credibly play anywhere near as well as the NDP - no matter where the NDP sits in the polls or seat count at a given moment.

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