The NDP's Dark History
April 1st, 2012 - C. P.
In 1933, an obscure group known as The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) drafted a document entitled The Regina Manifesto. The CCF eventually merged with The Canadian Labour Congress to form the political party that is known today as the New Democratic Party, or NDP.
In 2011, the NDP surged to become Canada's official opposition for the first time in its history, deposing the long standing centrist Liberal Party Of Canada. This sudden and unprecedented wave of support was called The Orange Crush.
Many young Canadians are unfamiliar with the true nature and history of the NDP. Their political ideologies have been well known amongst the party's establishment, but this new wave of supporters have exhibited a disturbing level of ignorance in terms of what the New Democrats have set out to achieve in their goal to fundamentally transform Canada.
The goals of the NDP were set out in 1933 upon the creation of The Regina Manifesto. The Manifesto was eventually replaced with The Winnipeg Declaration to reflect a seemingly less radical version of the CCF's original platform which was largely rejected by Canadians. The Winnipeg Declaration was a more vague and watered down version of the original Manifesto and it used different language to outline what was essentially the very same goals that were originally set fourth by the CCF.
"We aim to replace the present capitalist system, with its inherent injustice and inhumanity..." - Regina Manifesto
The radical aspirations of the CCF have been exhibited by many NDP governments across Canada, including the deposed Saskatchewan NDP; in the province where socialized medicine was born and where most telecomm, insurance, and resource industries remain nationalized or "public" today. During the Saskatchewan NDP's reign of power, the province suffered from stagnant economic conditions while the rest of Canada, including Alberta and Ontario, boomed and grew expotentially under a system of free markets and free enterprise. It was only in 2010 that Saskatchewan began to see true signs of growth and economic prosperity under new leadership.
"Control of finance is the first step in the control of the whole economy." - Regina Manifesto
The CCF had a long term plan to control finance, control currencies, nationalize all resources, and create a collective system of "democratic" control over business and enterprise. On their agenda was the eventual nationalization of private banks.
The CCF had consistently failed to refer to history when addressing their supporters, but rather focused on the disproven benefits of a fully controlled and steered economy. Their policies, enacted by more recent NDP governments, have consistently failed to achieve the economic prosperity described in the Manifesto. Under Bob Rae's NDP leadership, Ontario faced severe and near catastrophic economic conditions. Saskatchewan, under its own NDP rule, failed to achieve any significant economic prosperity and instead ended up with two of its major cities being recognized as crime capitals of Canada.
One question that the CCF was never asked, if their plan for a fully controlled economy were to ever come to fruition, was whether or not they would feel comfortable having conservatives, possible right-wing radicals, or fascists in full control of that very same centralized public system.
"The establishment of a commission composed of psychiatrists, psychologists, socially minded jurists and social workers, to deal with all matters pertaining to crime and punishment and the general administration of law, in order to humanize the law and to bring it into harmony with the needs of the people." - Regina Manifesto
Tommy Douglas, like Jack Layton, was a charismatic orator. He had ways in which he would charm and captivate his supporters, many of which knew little about his true, core beliefs. In the 1960s, Douglas was the focus of an RCMP investigation regarding his ties and associations to members of The Communist Party. What is far more disturbing than Douglas' communist sympathies, were his views on eugenics and the "mentally unfit". Given the CCF's sympathetic take on crime and criminal behaviour and their aspirations to achieve a justice system run by psychiatrists and doctors, Douglas' old mainstream views on eugenics and homosexuality would have still been the focus of much scrutiny today.
In 1933, while Nazi Germany and Hitler were rising, Douglas finished his thesis entitled, The Problems Of The Subnormal Family for his M.A. in sociology at McMaster University. His thesis was an open endorsement of policies that would have required couples to be "certified" as mentally fit in order to conceive children.
If such practices were implemented today, without the out-dated views of past generations, would they work? It is also important to ask whether or not similar "hug a thug" practices have worked in the past or whether a traditional conservative approach to crime and punishment is more effective. Is it possible to rehabilitate, or even feel sympathy for, a serial killer or rapist? Maybe, if you feel that Canadian law, in its current form, hasn't already been "humanized" enough.
"To modify and control the operations of the monopolistic productive and distributive organizations through economic and social planning. Towards these ends and where necessary the extension of the principle of social ownership." - NDP Constitution, circa 2001-2003
During the 2011 federal election, one of the NDP's largest setbacks was its apparent reluctance to openly publish its own constitution. A party that was bent on achieving not only opposition status, but eventually forming government, had failed to present a solid constitution for its new infantry of young and fanatical "tax the rich" leftists, and instead chose to refer to its constitution as an "internal document". The questions began to arise, but Layton himself had consistently failed to answer some important ones, one of which was whether or not the NDP will eventually denounce The Regina Manifesto and The Winnipeg Declaration or continue to remain mum on their obvious influence on most provincial NDP governments.
We don't need to ask whether or not the NDP still adheres to the principles of "public" ownership, all we need to do is scrutinize and examine the policies of past and present provincial NDP governments to find a true answer. The idea of Canadians accepting the NDP as official opposition based on their principles is inaccurate. It is more accurate to conclude that Canadians have accepted the NDP based on the vague depictions of equality and fairness that were presented to them by Jack Layton. Few Canadians know the true history of the NDP and about the guiding principles that drove Tommy Douglas and Jack Layton.
What is truly disturbing is not so much the NDP's principles, but their reluctance to share them with Canadians and to be open and honest about their true ambitions. Instead, the NDP have insisted on keeping Canadians in the dark about their history. Unfortunately, for the NDP, this age of darkness and ignorance is coming to an end.
"Since there is no such entity as 'the public,' since the public is merely a number of individuals, the idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others." - Ayn Rand, philosopher and capitalist.