Canada's Opposition Party delegates put off changing "Socialist" to "Social Democrat" in Party Constitution, leave open option of merging with Liberals.

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    Jun 20, 2011 2:00 PM GMT
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    New Democrats wrapped up their first convention as the Official Opposition on Sunday by putting off a vote on a potentially divisive resolution to drop the word "socialist" from the preamble to the party's constitution.

    The proposal, considered the most contentious issue at this weekend's NDP policy gathering in Vancouver, was aimed at broadening the NDP's appeal.

    But the showdown was averted after delegates unanimously approved a motion by NDP president Brian Topp to refer the resolution to the party's executive for more discussion.

    Manitoba NDP MP Pat Martin led calls for the language change, arguing it was time for the party to broaden its appeal beyond traditional labels.

    In earlier voting Sunday, party delegates also rejected a resolution calling on the party to reject all future mergers with the Liberals — which leaves the door open to potential future talks between the two opposition parties.

    Longtime NDP MP Peter Stoffer led the opposition to the anti-merger resolution, arguing it would be a strategic mistake to limit the party's options as it seeks to increase support following its record showing in May's federal election.

    The New Democrats stormed past the Liberals to take the second-most amount of seats and form the Official Opposition to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative majority government.

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    Jun 20, 2011 2:04 PM GMT
    How do average mainstream Canadians feel about the word "socialism"....? is there anything like the visceral distrust or hatred for the idea as there exists in the USA?
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    Jun 20, 2011 2:15 PM GMT
    alphatrigger saidHow do average mainstream Canadians feel about the word "socialism"....? is there anything like the visceral distrust or hatred for the idea as there exists in the USA?



    There is, but it is considered fringe.
    Socialism up here speaks more of an attitude, not a plot or conspiracy reference. Heck, we had a very right-wing gov't in power here in BC for years that called itself the "Social Credit Party".

    I think it's a bad idea to try do a merger with the Liberal party. Why? Because the current deflation of Liberal seats in the gov't is temporary. Historically the two parties are not on the same page at all when it comes to policies. I think that what would happen is more Liberals would vote Conservative.

    -Doug


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    Jun 20, 2011 4:24 PM GMT
    The way I've read it, the main stream of conservative Canadian politicians are left of the US Democrats... do you think this is so?
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    Jun 20, 2011 5:07 PM GMT
    alphatrigger saidThe way I've read it, the main stream of conservative Canadian politicians are left of the US Democrats... do you think this is so?


    I think that is pretty accurate.

    I agree with Doug btw on the prospects of a return for the Liberal Party. As an NDP member I do not think the counry;s interests are best served by a two-party field.

    There is pressure on the party to follow the lead of the UK's Labour Party in moving centre to become the government.

    The Island New Democrats are meeting this weekend and that will consume much of the discussions on the floor and in the corridors.