New Democratic Party

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The New Democratic Party or NDP is a socialist federal political Party in Canada. Its current leader is Quebec MP Thomas Mulcair. It is noted for being the party of Tommy Douglas,[1] founder of Canada's universal healthcare system. Said of Douglas "He pursued his radical ideas relentlessly until they became so mainstream rival politicians claimed them as their own". Douglas also criticized liberalism.[2]

The NDP has traditionally been an opponent to both the Conservative Party and Liberal Party as well as the separatist Bloc Quebecois. From their success in the 2011 Canadian federal election, the NDP beat their all-time record of 43 seats of the Ed Broadbent era with 103 seats in the House of Commons, making them the official opposition, although they still have little to no power, even after falling back to third place with 44 seats in the 2015 election.

Some of the main issues on the party's platform include; Increasing social programs such as public health care (including dental) and education and a dramatic raise in taxes of all forms (except small business taxes). They support giving more money to the CBC, Quebec, and the arts. They favor heavier regulation in all aspects of the economy.

The federal NDP is ideologically further to the Left than the currently-ruling Liberals, as are its provincial wings, and they often align with the Liberals on a number of issues, including environmentalism, abortion, tax increases, the homosexual agenda, multiculturalism, imposition of Islam, Aboriginal issues, leniency toward criminals and the "legalization" of marijuana. The NDP have never held power federally, although their provincial wings have formed governments in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and the Yukon Territory. Past NDP governments in British Columbia (under Mike Harcourt and then Glen Clark, both of whom were forced to resign their offices due to corruption scandals) and in Ontario (under Bob Rae) were highly unpopular with voters in those provinces, as is the current NDP government in Alberta under Rachel Notley (the daughter of former Alberta NDP leader Grant Notley).

The NDP was formed in 1961 through the merger of its predecessor, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), with the Canadian Labour Congress in an alliance of the political Left and organized labor in Canada. Because of its left-leaning political platforms[3] and an alliance advocated by then-Alberta CCF president William Irvine with the Labor-Progressive Party (which was the name used by the then-outlawed Communist Party of Canada between 1943 and 1959 to allow them to run in elections), the CCF and its membership (particularly Tommy Douglas[3]) were accused of having ties to Communism.

References

  1. NDP Party history
  2. CBC historical archive on Tommy Douglas and the NDP.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The NDP's Dark History