How about a New Democratic Party?

Back when I was a young reporter at the Toronto Star, Canadians formed a political party designed to protect the interests of the “working class.”

At the time, there were two major political parties in Canada – Liberals, who were heavily French Canadian, and Progressive Conservatives, who leaned more toward English Canada.

Both were unabashedly establishment oriented, but being Canadian, they were fairer and far more compassionate than American conservatives.

Traditionally egalitarian, Canadians would probably have denied they had a class system, but they did. If your parents could afford to send you to Upper Canada College, for example, you chances of success were greatly enhanced.

The formation of the New Democratic Party by Canada’s labor unions was a candid admission that a class system existed, and that the working class needed political help.

Over the years, the New Democrats have pressured Canada’s political system to introduce such reforms as free medical care for everyone, fairer wages and better working conditions, and compassionate welfare laws.

I  credit the NDP – and early leader Tommy Douglas – with much of the enlightenment that has occurred in  Canada during the past half century.

And I wonder whether it’s time for Americans to admit they, too, have a class system, and the working class needs help.

The Democratic Party of today seems based on the myth that America is a classless society, in which a rising tide lifts all boats. Party leaders seem to believe that you can please all the people all the time.

It might be a good idea to ditch the baggage-burdened Democratic Party,and create a new political organization candidly dedicated to protecting the interests of the working class in America.

They could call it the New Democratic Party.

More on the NDP

More on the Democratic Party

More on Tommy Douglas

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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