06 June 2011

Unite the Left

Some members of the Bloc NDP think the party needs to take a turn to the left in order to capitalise on the gains from May’s general election.

As the Globe and Mail reports:

Its wish list of convention resolutions include calls to close “the Alberta Tar Sands,” legalize marijuana, boycott “apartheid Israel,” nationalize the auto, bank and insurance companies and repeal the Clarity Act.

The chair of the socialist caucus, Barry Weisleder, says they’ve succeeded in getting some of the resolutions endorsed by riding associations and youth clubs.

Interesting thought.

On the right, the federal Conservatives are the result of first a marriage of the ideological and non-ideological bits of what people regarded as the political right wing.  as they got closer to power and especially after Stephen Harper became prime minister, the Connies have gradually repressed the more staunchly right-wing elements within the party.

Meanwhile over on the left, the New Democrats united with the other left wing party – the Bloc – and became the official opposition. Now they’ll basically face the same sort of question the Conservatives already addressed.  There’s no guarantee how they’ll answer it nor is there a correct answer.

But now that the left in Canada is politically more united than it was a few months ago, Jack Layton and his gang will have to finally come to terms with the fundamental question.

Do they head toward the centre, as other successful left-wing parties have done, or will they continue to embrace their ideological base and potentially kiss power good bye?

Put another way:  Is Jack Layton going to emulate Tony Blair or Michael Foot?

- srbp -