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Connie Fogal
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Leader: Jack Layton

Web Site:

Election Platform: Environment Platform (pdf), Health Platform (pdf). Until a few days into the election, the party also had an "Issues" page that set's out the party's (much more frankly-worded) stance on issues ranging from taxation to gays and lesbians (some text remains, but the page is incomplete or in the process of being removed as of May 25, 2004).

Candidates: Listed by riding for each province.

A Full Member of The Socialist International: The New Democratic Party of Canada ("NDP") is a full member of The Socialist International. According to the Socialist International, the "Socialist International is the worldwide organisation of social democratic, socialist and labour parties", whose "...representatives want to learn from one another, jointly promote socialist ideas and work towards this objective at [an] international level." The Socialist International web site says that "strengthening the United Nations is an important step in the creation of this new, democratic world society" and that "...the work of abolishing international inequality will be a crucial step forward on the road to a democratic world society". Funded by its member parties, the Socialist International publishes Socialist Affairs. The NDP is joined in the Socialist International by many other socialist parties, including the Democratic Socialists of America and the Social Democrats in the USA; the African National Congress ("ANC") in South Africa; the Australian Labour Party; the New Zealand Labour Party; the Labour Party in the UK; the Israel Labour Party; and the Social Democratic Party in Japan, among many others.

The Party Orientation:
According to the NDP's Mission Statement:

"The New Democratic Party is part of a greater national and international movement that seeks to challenge the dominant political agenda of market globalization and resulting environmental, social, and economic problems...Internationally, our mission is to cooperate with democratic socialist organizations and other groups who share our values and our mission of building a global community...Our challenge is to make Canada an example to the world of the nation that best combines sustainable prosperity with social, economic and political equality. We want to make this nation one which truly belongs to all its people" (emphasis added; from the Mission Statement adopted by the National Convention of the New Democratic Party in 1993).

In the preamble to the NDP's Constitution, as amended at its 2003 convention, the NDP effectively equates "social economic and political equality" with "social economic and political progress". In other words, to the NDP, equality (i.e. egalitarianism) is progress:

"The New Democratic Party believes that the social, economic and political progress of Canada can be assured only by the application of democratic socialist principles to government and the administration of public affairs.

The NDP Constitution explains what the NDP means by the term "democratic socialism", by listing the following principles:

"That the production and distribution of goods and services shall be directed to meeting the social and individual needs of people within a sustainable environment and economy and not to the making of profit;

To modify and control the operations of the monopolistic productive and distributive organizations through economic and social planning. Towards these ends and where necessary the extension of the principle of social ownership;

The New Democratic Party holds firm to the belief that the dignity and freedom of the individual is a basic right that must be maintained and extended; and

The New Democratic Party is proud to be associated with the democratic socialist parties of the world and to share the struggle for peace, international co-operation and the abolition of poverty."

In short, the NDP believes that equality can be attained by controlling the production and distribution of goods in Canada, and by government ownership. Like the Communist Party of Canada, it opposes profit and supports government ownership of capital (it calls government ownership "social ownership", which has a friendlier ring to it).

A critique of the NDP's economic model is in order. At its 2003 convention, leadership contestant Pierre Ducasse gave a rousing speech which argued not enough had been done to make the economic case for democratic socialism, and challenged the NDP to make that case. The NDP has its work cut out for it in this regard. The phrase used by economists to describe government control of the production and distribution of goods is "central planning". It should be noted that the quintessential and most thoroughly centrally planned economy in history is arguably the Soviet Union (the USSR), whose economy collapsed. Chief among the well respected economists who have argued that central planning cannot succeed, even in theory, are Ludwig von Mises (see his book entitled "Socialism") and Friedrich von Hayek's famous "The Road to Serfdom".


Page Last updated: Friday, May 28, 2004  








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