Socialism isn’t just a word

Editor: Removing "socialism as a founding principle” will not convince Canadians that the NDP is not a socialist party.


Re: (B.C. Views, July. 31)

A significant aspect of NDP post-election soul searching, following its catastrophic defeat by the forces of free enterprise, will no doubt have to be coming to terms with the need to move the party further to the centre.

While the federal NDP appears to have decided to delete references to “socialism” from its guiding party preamble to make it more palatable politically and competitive electorally, merely removing “socialism as a founding principle”, without jettisoning its politically outdated doctrine, will not convince Canadians that the NDP is not a socialist party.

Confronted with the political reality of the of socialism proving itself to be an abysmal failure throughout the world, the question naturally arises as to whether B.C.’s NDP party will be able to “jump over its own ideological shadow” and abandon its traditional stand on the principles of democratic socialism, as defined in the B.C. provincial NDP constitutional preamble:

“The New Democratic Party believes that social, economic and political progress in Canada can only be assured by the application of democratic socialist principles to government and the administration of public affairs.”

Stripped of its defining political raison d’être, however, NDP soul searching to remain a legitimate electoral contender in the province would make it a journey of heading somewhere into the future without the benefit of a road map and without a clear sense of its destination, carrying the baggage of its political past.

E.W. Bopp