NDP provincial governments have some achievements to their credit, but the party’s recent history has been a travesty of what its founders hoped for. Without a bold change of direction toward socialist politics, its future will consist of inexorable decline.
Roberta Lexier is an associate professor and the member engagement officer for the Mount Royal Faculty Association. She is a member of the Alberta Advantage and Forgotten Corner podcast teams and sits on the board of directors for the Harbinger Media Network.
There’s wide support for the kind of social-democratic policies Canada’s New Democratic Party should be offering, but the party is afraid to put forward a bold left-wing program that can inspire supporters. The NDP’s history shows how it’s possible for a left party to succeed against the tide.
Canada’s Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, forerunner of today’s New Democratic Party, may have been less militant than some of its contemporary rivals. But its founding document is a powerful call to arms — and present-day socialists could learn from its boldness.