The NDP has been relatively conservative from the beginning. It was conservative relative to the CCF. The CCF was for eradicating capitalism and would not rest until it had established the Co-operative Commonwealth in Canada. Most of the NDP leadership wanted to turn it into a version of the UK Labor Party. Lately many have wanted to follow the Third Way of social democratic parties in Europe. So if the NDP were to decide to become the Democratic Party this would simply be part and parcel of the evolution of the NDP further to the right. If as the author claims the party is so conservative perhaps it will have a much better chance now in Alberta!
If NDPers consulted their grandmothers when in doubt as the author suggests they might get a radical earful!
The New Conservatives
Calgary HeraldAugust 18, 2009
Woodrow Wilson once said a conservative is someone who makes no changes and consults his grandmother when in doubt.
He could have been referring to today's federal New Democratic Party, which at its weekend convention decided "Everything old is new again." Delegates rehashed decades-old policies that leader Jack Layton limply tried to say offered Canadians a new way of thinking.
Sorry, Jack, there's nothing new to the NDP ideology about environmentally friendly jobs, ending rules that prevent homosexuals from donating organs, demanding action to prevent violence against aboriginal women, or enshrining childcare into law. Anything different on the agenda -- like a proposal to phase out income tax for small business--never made it to the convention floor.
Alexa McDonough, former NDP leader, defended the same old, same old, as tradition. "Of course there needs to be change as the world changes around us. But what isn't going to change is our basic values, and most of our policies simply build on those values." Canadians have rejected those values for more than 30 years. Then, the "New" in New Democrats was true. The party is so stuck on the past, it refused to vote on a proposal to drop "new" from its name. It's all rather '70s, except this is the 21st century.
Alas. By the Democratic president's definition, there's only one word for today's unchanging and unchangeable NDP--conservative.