Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hidden NDP agenda: replace capitalism with socialism


The New Democrats are receiving more than usual scrutiny now they are the Official Opposition. Consequently, that party finds itself a subject of interest of journalists and bloggers across the country. For many in Canada, this past week or so has seen their first serious look at Canada’s main socialist party.

The first thing I learned is that there’s a lot about the NDP that is not transparent and not in the public domain. The second thing I learned is how much the NDP would like to shake off the label “socialists.”

Many focus groups have told NDP leaders that the word “socialists” does not have positive vibes among most Canadians, and that’s enough for the Dippers to purge the use of the term they once distributed liberally throughout their party literature. Oh, they’re still socialists—and they still belong to international socialist movements and causes—but they now prefer the terms “democrats,” “progressives” and “social democrats.” It’s a public relations makeover you see, not a real conversion.

It’s difficult, though, to get a handle on what the New Democrats really (officially) believe. One used to be able to refer to their party’s constitution, but as others have discovered, the main party—the federal NDP—seems to have purged the Internet of all versions of that previously easy-to-obtain document. The Liberals, Conservatives and Greens are far more transparent and make their values, goals and objectives open to public scrutiny, as one would expect from any democratic political party. Not so the NDP.

I did, however, find a copy of The Constitution of the New Democratic Party of British Columbia, a branch of the national (federal) Dippers, incorporating amendments adopted at their 2009 convention. Readers should be aware that all NDP parties in Canada belong to the overall national party. Individuals joining a provincial party automatically join the federal party and vice versa. The constitution of a provincial New Democratic Party, therefore, is a sub-set of the federal one. Here’s the preamble:

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

“The principles of democratic socialism can be defined briefly as follows: a) the production and distribution of goods and services shall be directed to meeting the social and individual needs of people and not for profit, b) the modification and control of the operations of monopolistic productive and distributive organizations through economic and social planning, towards these ends, and c) where necessary, the extension of the principle of social ownership.

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

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

Frankly, this preamble, which sets out the NDP’s guiding principles and values, is terrifying for it clearly advocates—as a fundamental principle—hard-left socialism of the sort in which the state owns and controls the production and distribution of goods. Since this preamble is much the same as the one written about elsewhere as being the preamble to the federal party’s constitution—see here and here—I’ll consider it official and representative of the entire NDP organization.

And if that doesn’t scare you, see here for the Manifesto for a Socialist Canada, the founding document of the NDP’s Socialist Caucus. The first paragraph states:

“SOCIALISTS AROUND THE WORLD believe in the establishment of a society where the exploitation of one class by another will no longer exist. Our aim and ongoing struggle as New Democrats must be to establish a Socialist Canada. We believe that the achievement of this goal requires a socialist party that, together with the self-organized mass struggles of working people, can win government for the purpose of transforming Canada into a socialist society. Our objective as members of the New Democratic Party (NDP) is to make our party into one that fights for government, and when in government, actually implements socialist policies.”

And the second paragraph dispels any doubt a reader may have about who the Dippers are and their plans for Canada, should they ever gain power in Ottawa.

“Replacement of Capitalism with Socialism

The global capitalist system is today in the throes of a massive economic, political, environmental and social crisis. If the capitalist system continues to exist, growing poverty, violence, war and repression and environmental degradation will be the fate of working people across Canada and around the world. The Socialist Caucus of the NDP does not believe that it is possible for working people anywhere to achieve significant and permanent social and political progress without transcending the limits of capitalism. A prerequisite is the establishment of Socialist governments all across the country, federally and provincially.”

The NDP’s plan is in place—replace capitalism with socialism—but is not advertised. I’d call that a hidden agenda.


© 2011 Russell G. Campbell
All rights reserved.
The views I express on this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or positions of political parties, institutions or organizations with which I am associated.


  1. This sort of fear-mongering makes about as much sense as progressive bloggers who claim Harper is going to cancel elections and turn Canada into a right-wing police state.

    Be serious here -- the preamble to a constitution has no bearing on how a party governs, nor does a small caucus of socialists who don't lead the party. If Layton won an election, which I doubt would ever happen but I know we're talking hypothetical here, he'd move right in order to maintain power, just like Stephen Harper moves left to maintain power. That's how politics works. We're long past an age in which political leaders were interested in systematic change as opposed to just getting and holding onto power.

    Anyways, the NDP are relegated to the Opposition benches now. Shouldn't we be making sure the government implements ITS promised agenda now?

  2. Sixth Estate,

    You say "fear-mongering," I say, fair warning.

    On the one hand, claiming "Harper is going to cancel elections and turn Canada into a right-wing police state" is irrational. Where is there any evidence he plans to do that? There is none, of course.

    On the other hand, my warnings about the NDP are based on documented evidence of a decades-old plan of theirs. Hardly equivalent, I'd suggest.

  3. There is a major difference between fear-mongering and stating documented fact. Fear-mongering is about fabricating lies to scare people; an example being one of the Liberal ads claiming we would have guns and tanks in our streets should the CPC win a majority. I personally find it amazing that anyone would fail to grasp that the NDP is a socialist party. Furthermore socialism and communism are the same other than they take a different approach in how best to reach their goal; the same goal.

    I do however agree that we must keep PM Harper accountable and ensure he and his government delivers what they promised. It would be even better if they actually implement some real conservative policies.

  4. Mr. Campbell,

    I would think any reasonable person who is following current events would share your concerns.

    I think Sixth Estate is correct in some ways in that the NDP will move more to the least until they have a majority if that were to happen down the road.

    But, before that happens, they will meet a bump in the road called the Liberal party. Not only that, I think the Conservatives are going to move more to the left and be a centrist party. I have my thoughts but perhaps you could explain what a progressive Liberal is.

    It is going to be interesting to watch things happen over the next few years.

    One thing I am interested in watching is how the MSM will treat this. They picked on the Conservatives during the last parliament. Maybe it's karma but they will have have to pick a side when an issue comes up where the NDP and Liberals have different views.

  5. Sisth Estate,


    "Be serious here -- the preamble to a constitution has no bearing on how a party governs, nor does a small caucus of socialists who don't lead the party"

    I have a really dumb question here, well, maybe a couple.

    1) Who authorizes the preamble for the constitution of any politcal party before it is published?

    2) Who elects or how does a person become the leader of a any political party?

    I'm not knocking the NDP here but I think the constitution of any party is very important. If I were to accept you line of thinking in your quote...Does that mean the Charter of Rights has no bearing on this country operatates.

  6. You realize that the Socialist Caucus is an opposition group within the NDP, right? A group that opposes current NDP policy? You know their candidate for leader of the NDP got 1.1% of the vote, right?

  7. You claim that the preamble to the NDP advocates "hard-left socialism of the sort in which the state owns and controls the production and distribution of goods," but it does nothing of the sort. Read your own post.

    The preamble advocates breaking up monopolies--as "free market" a principle as there is--and "social ownership ... where necessary".

    Today we have public ownership of power utilities, schools and hospitals that were all private when the NDP was founded in 1961.

    Are you suggesting we dismantle and privatize our system of public healthcare? If so, good luck making that argument to the Canadian people. If not, then you're in favour of social ownership--"where necessary"--as well.

  8. People say "socialism" like it's a bad thing. Interesting.

  9. Anon,

    All I am saying is that the preamble does raise cause for concern. It is up to the NDP to clarify what it is that they mean.

    Why would the Social Caucus be invited to the NDP convention if they are in opposition to each other? I don't have any idea. Let's give the NDP a chance and wait until the convention is over. I'm sure there will be a lot of information released at the conclusion of the convention. I think you will find that the media and other politcal parties will be watching this very closely. They will make their views well known.

    Regarding healthcare, I'm not qualified to answer that. I do believe that the healthcare system could be made more efficient and stay within the terms of the Canada Health Act. How they do this will be the subject of public debate.