Open Letter for a "NEW" Democratic Socialist Party
Sisters and Brothers,
In his Oct. 9th, 2010 column, titled "The NDP: Not your father's socialism," John Ivison of The National Post wrote about the NDP's "metamorphosis of an old 20th-century socialist party into a vibrant 21st-century social democratic party." What exactly a "21-st century social democratic party" looks like is hard to discern though a few clues were provided by Ivison in a lower paragraph in the story:
Marc Lee, of the B.C. office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, has proposed an excellent 12-part program for a reoriented and reinvigorated Canadian Left. He has done us a real service by identifying key themes that would define the Left and catalyze fundamental change:
• a universal guaranteed income program
• sectoral collective bargaining
• legal changes to rein in the power of corporations
• abolition of intellectual property (copyright and patents)
• public control of key economic sectors and infrastructures through regulation, nationalization or the creation of public corporations
When Andrea Horwath is called a right-wing populist (by me, among others), I'd like to clarify that it's not the populist part that's objectionable. Populism is a good starting point. There's no agreed definition, but in general it builds on a sense among "the people" that they've been screwed: by the big shots, the elites, the one per cent -- a sense that's usually justified.
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The great French poet Victor Hugo speaking to an international peace conference in 1849 called for the establishment of a United States of Europe. With the blood hardly dry after World War II ended in Europe in 1945, a group of French thinkers, notably Jean Monnet, drew up plans for European economic co-operation.