Progressive politics, ideas & culture


breakthrough indeed

This Magazine Staff

Okay, back to politics. Obviously Jack Layton reads THIS blog, and anticipates every opinion. How do you pull a weedy, corduroy suited socialist party into the centre in a country crying out for a conscientious slightly left of centre party? You get a former chief economist of RBC Dominion Securities to lay out your new economic thinking—oh, and you get him to run for your party in downtown Toronto. Check out Paul Summerville’s enlightening speech at the recent NDP Breakthrough Conference:

Paul Summerville

Some highlights:

It is time to confront and change [the] old and tired image of our party. When I talk to people across Canada I hear the same message, they share our values, but believe that whenever the New Democratic Party has talked about wealth it has always followed with the word taxation — not prosperity. There is truth that prosperity has never really been part of our plan or our pitch.

Wealth creation is what prosperity and social justice depends on. Jack Layton has been making this point since he became leader, and this is why I decided to run with you on our team.

The New Democratic Party always gets top marks for its ideas and commitment to social justice but now because of Jack Layton’s leadership, Liberal greed, and Conservative confusion, the chance is ours to become the only party Canadians will trust with Canada’s economic future.

Today, virtually every social democratic political party in the world understands one simple truth. Without a strong economy the resources will not exist to invest in our citizens and without this investment in ourselves the economy will surely suffer.

It is the parties of the right, in Canada and elsewhere, that simply do not understand this. This is what New Orleans taught the world about the American economy, and about George Bush’s America. This is what Toronto’s ’Summer of 2005’ with bad air, bad roads, bad water, and gun violence taught Ontario about the legacy of Liberal and Conservative neglect.

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