Still socialists, NDP guns for government

By ,Parliamentary Bureau Chief

First posted:

VANCOUVER - Canada's New Democrats wrapped up their 50th anniversary party here Sunday with their leader Jack Layton declaring they were united in their determination to form the next government but accused by opponents of being split over party identity and some key policies.

The 1,500 delegates left Vancouver as the only party in the House of Commons committed, as they have been since its creation in 1961, to principles of "democratic socialism," leaving aside for another day a decision to shed socialism for the more moderate term "social democrats."

They also rejected an initiative that would have prohibited any merger with Liberal Party of Canada.

"This is a party is deeply divided and has a good healthy identity crisis on its hands as to whether or not they should continue to exist as an independent party and whether or not they should continue to call themselves socialists," said Heritage Minister James Moore, who was designated the Conservative Party's official observer at the weekend-long convention.

Layton, though, dismissed Moore's conclusion.

"Ridiculous. I think our position on the issues is crystal clear. It's very much opposed to the Conservative agenda. They know where we're headed and we know where we're headed," Layton said. "Canadians are going to have a crystal-clear choice in four years time. In the meantime, we're going to take them on when they're wrong on the issues. We're going to propose practical solutions."

After convincing 4.5 million Canadians to vote for the party on May 2 - an all-time high and 2 million votes better than 2008 - party elders, including Stephen Lewis and Ed Broadbent, spent the weekend reminding delegates that official Opposition status is not the objective, that the party must now make the leap to becoming a government.

Many in the party thought that an important step towards that goal was a change to the party's constitution that would have dropped the label "socialist" in favour of "social democrat."

"The word socialism scares some people and our opponents use it against us," said NDP MP Pat Martin, who argued in favour of the constitutional changes.

Martin said the term was "a rusty anchor" holding the party back from sailing past the "Liberal ship of fools" on the way to government.

"We have the wind in our sails and the best skipper in the country," Martin said.

But, perhaps sensing that such a debate would be a divisive issue on the final day of the convention, newly-minted party president Brian Topp successfully convinced delegates to put off that decision for another day.

"We are not on election alert any more," Topp said. "The party can breathe and take the time to do the important work well."

Layton downplayed the importance of such a change.

"Some people believe the selection of an adjective to be an important matter," Layton said. "There was no disagreement about the values. It was about the label."

New Democrats and all other MPs head back to Parliament Monday where there is likely to be a pitched battle over back-to-work legislation the Conservatives will introduce to end the lockout of Canada Post workers.

New Democrats on Sunday passed a motion calling on their MPs to do strongly support a "negotiated settlement" between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Employees.






Jack "the John" Layton, can bring in collectivization to Brothels so that they are not run like the Triad Brothel, the Velvet Touch that Jack, "the john" layton was found in with a "mainland chinese woman" standing over Jack while he lay stark naked on his back, and the Mainland chinese woman threw a clump of Kleenex into the trash as the cops walked in.

Jack can let every one with a six figure income do what he did, have subsidized housing, while he used his savings to get a hand job at the velvet touch.

That's while Jack "the john" ran his "white ribbon campaign" that did and does promote hatred towards men to satisfy the extreme feminist male hating lobby group that provides a rainbow of various funding for the No Dads Party.

It's only a matter of time before Canadians realize Jack "the john" will sooner or later, join the equally unsuitable Julian Fantino in a retirement home.