The Turmoil of Being Turmel

 

New Bosses, Same As The Old

Nycole Turmel is the acting leader of the Canadian New Democratic Party (NDP), relieving Jack Layton who recently stepped down to deal with personal health priorities. It did not take long for the neophyte leader of the official opposition in the House of Commons to get into trouble.

Nycole From “The Bloc”

Nycole Turmel has come under widespread criticism in light of the revelation that she was once a card-carrying member of the Bloc Québécois, a Quebec nationalist federal party on the left wing of the commonly-used political spectrum.

“The Bloc”, as it is referred to in most of Canada, lost its official party status in the House of Commons after a poor showing in the 2011 federal election.

Criticism of Turmel arises out of her implied sympathy for Quebec separatism, as advocated by members of The Bloc.

A Left, A Left, A Left

Frankly, I’d be more concerned with the “left-wing” aspects of The Bloc, which might make Turmel’s membership understandable. The NDP is the primary haven of the left in Canada. Its roots are in the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), an overtly socialist organization with the dubious honour of having formed the first socialist government in North America. That unhappy distinction was achieved in 1944 in the Province of Saskatchewan.

In 1933, the newly formed CCF party’s first convention adopted the Regina Manifesto, the stated goal of which was the eradication of capitalism and its replacement with a system of economic central planning through socialism.

When the ultimate socialists, the communists, began to draw much-deserved criticism in the late 1940s and 1950s, the flexible principles of the CCF were modified. In the face of national criticism the CCF adopted a version of “socialism-lite” as an objective through the Winnipeg Declaration in 1956. The CCF downplayed its original revolutionary rhetoric to describe a new vision of a mixed economy rather than a nationalized one.

In 1961 the CCF joined forces with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) to form the New Democratic Party. The CLC had an even more colourful history in its long affiliation among labour unions and the communist parties.

Principles of the Left

Today the NDP is considered the party of Labour, but it still represents the left philosophically. It is affiliated with the Socialist International (SI), an organization of socialists and other dictators from around the world. If you can stand to read through the SI’s 100-point Declaration of Principles you may gather perhaps that all the socialists really want is some ideal world filled with peace, justice, freedom and other good things. Who doesn’t?

Where disagreement will arise is in how we get to a world of peace and prosperity. The SI makes it pretty clear that its supporters want to achieve this state through a “democratic world society” or a “new democratic order”. “Strengthening” the United Nations is viewed as: “…an important step in the creation of this new, democratic world society”.

Central Planning For a Better You

Central planning is still in the socialist tool box, just as it was when Karl Marx, the acknowledged father of communism, put it there. He was the founder of the Socialist International in 1864, which was then called the First International.

Whether they are called Socialists, New Democrats or The Bloc, these fellow travelers all think they have a better idea of how they can run your life for you.

©Copyright 20111 Edward Podritske

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