- Eye on …
Four distinct candidates offer very different views on how socialism and social democracy will evolve in Canada
In a few weeks, the federal New Democratic Party will have a new leader. The four remaining candidates have very different visions for Canada – and, quite frankly, for the future of Canadian socialism and social democracy.
Here’s a quick overview.
Charlie Angus, the MP for Timmins-James Bay, has emerged as the establishment candidate (of sorts). He’s more in the mould of the last two NDP leaders, Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair. Angus takes conventional positions on politics and economics, stays relatively clear of controversy and strongly defends a more realistic, centre-left philosophy on governing.
Niki Ashton, the MP for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski, is the darling of the radical left. She’s regularly denounced “corporate greed,” and promoted “environmental justice” and a need to get back to the “socialist vision” of the old Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (the party’s predecessor). She’s trying to recreate the NDP of old and push for a more state-oriented, anti-free-market model to run the government.
Guy Caron, the MP for Rimouski-Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques, seems to be trying to bridge the social democratic establishment with old-style socialism. He’s called for significant income tax changes, including the establishment of a tax crimes division and financial activities tax. He also wants “trade deals that work for Canadians.”
Jagmeet Singh, the Ontario MPP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton, is attempting to present himself as the true candidate of change. He likes to tout his progressive policies and social democratic views on issues such as an increased minimum wage, environmental protection and social justice. If he wins, he would be the first Sikh to ever lead a major federal political party.
This race is rather important for the party’s future. It won’t be (and shouldn’t be) an easy choice for grassroots members.
What’s the best course of action for the NDP? Here’s some free advice from a right-leaning conservative:
Angus is the most sensible choice for NDP leader.
If party members prefer to gamble, Singh seems to be the best bet.
We’ll see which left-wing political vision wins out shortly.
Troy Media columnist and political commentator Michael Taube was a speechwriter for former prime minister Stephen Harper.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.