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Afghanistan: Bring the troops home!

At the time of writing, over 140 western troops have been killed in Afghanistan, including 42 Canadians. While you are reading this, the figure is undoubtedly higher. Increasingly, public opinion in Canada is turning against the war. The most recent poll revealed that 59% believe Canadian soldiers "are dying for a cause we cannot win," while just 34% disagreed with that statement. Significantly, the union-supported New Democratic Party (NDP) has officially called for troops to be pulled out of Afghanistan. This is a huge step forward for the anti-war movement and comes from the pressure of the rank-and-file of the NDP and the wider working class. However, if we are to achieve the goal of ending the war, the NDP and the anti-war movement must adopt anti-imperialist slogans and analysis.

2006 NDP Federal Convention: Activist, socialist NDP needed

Since the gains achieved in the February 2006 General Election, the NDP has appeared to be drifting and listless. 2.5 million voted NDP in a rejection of the corrupt Liberals and with no enthusiasm for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Now, Harper is seen as George Bush’s new lapdog in the wars against the people of Afghanistan and Lebanon. There has not been a better opportunity for the NDP to take the lead against the big-business parties in almost two decades.

Attracting Youth to the NDP

The young people of today are continually being written off by political leaders. There has been over a generation of funding cuts for programs benefiting young people. Hugh Mackenzie, in Funding Postsecondary Education in Ontario, writes, “After reaching a 25-year peak in 1992, provincial public services spending as a share of GDP declined year-after-year for more than a decade before stabilizing in 2003 at a substantially reduced level… Ten years of cuts at both the federal and provincial levels of government have exposed a political gap between the expectations of Canadians for public services and the reduced fiscal capacity of their governments to deliver on those expectations.” The burden of filling this gap has fallen on the shoulders of those segments of the population viewed by government as putting forward the least resistance – youth, immigrants and the poor.

To defeat the Conservatives, the NDP must mobilize the Working Class

Stephen Harper’s shift to the right has taken many off guard. After all, he did everything he could to play up the moderate side of the conservative party, interested solely in cleaning up corruption and making government “open and accountable”. But all of this has proven to be nothing more than a big lie to get votes. Now the Canadian working class is faced with the challenge of defeating the conservative agenda.

The NDP must stand up to neo-liberalism!

At this critical time the NDP leadership seems to be in a state of resignation. The leadership’s demand for a debate "but support" for the Afghanistan mission is one clear example of the public stance clashing with the position of the party membership and Canadian opinion in general. The position on childcare is a good start, but their passive support for the Conservatives undermines this position and hurts their credibility with many working people who voted for them to strongly oppose the Conservatives’ agenda.

NDP Leadership 2003

As the New Democratic Party selects a new leader, capitalism is in crisis. With the economy crumbling, the US is once again preparing for war. Here in British Columbia, we’ve seen tens of thousands in the streets against the government and the BC Federation of Labour just passed a resolution at their convention that “authorizes the Federation Officers to mobilize support for workplace and community action up to and including job action by sector, region or province-wide and/or general strike”. However, amidst all of this there is no credible left candidate running for the leadership of the NDP. (January, 2003)

BC NDP – Bureaucracy maintains stranglehold; Left builds support for future battles

The election of Carole James as leader of the British Columbia New Democratic Party represents a victory for the status quo. James ran a campaign that concentrated on one thing and one thing only… Carole James. What we did not see were any commitments to actually do anything—no commitment to renationalize the Liberals’ sell-off of public assets, no commitment to reverse the Liberals’ regressive tax hikes (sales tax, medical plan fee, etc.) or negate the $2 billion tax cut to the rich, and definitely no commitment to do anything that would go beyond the position of the previous NDP government. (November, 2003)

Canadian Election Results: Disappointing NDP result due to failure to use “S” word

The Liberals were reduced to a minority government, the Conservatives failed to cash in on this, and NDP, although doing relatively well failed to pick up the potential among the workers because they tried to be too much like the Liberals, too frightened to mention the "S" word - Socialism! The many abstentions indicate that huge numbers of workers and youth are disillusioned with this set up and are looking for an alternative. (June, 2004)

The Third Way Raises its Ugly Head in the NDP -- Take back the BC NDP!

When Carole James was elected leader of the BC NDP nobody would have imagined that less than a year later she would be saying things like “As the new leader of the BC New Democrats, I am reaching out to the business community in a way New Democrats have not done before," or “I want the NDP and the business community to work in partnership." But in doing so, Carole James is digging her own grave as leader of the BC NDP. (September, 2004)
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