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.
Roberta Lexier is an associate professor in the departments of general education and humanities at Mount Royal University. She studies social movements and the Left in Canada and is a regular contributor to the Alberta Advantage and Forgotten Corner podcasts.
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.