/In praise of the NDP

In praise of the NDP

To the Editor

Canadians have a very clear choice in this election. We can vote for the regressive Conservatives a party that consistently demonstrates extremist views and that openly uses fear-mongering and whispers of terror to revoke democratic rights and to strip Canadians of their freedom of speech.

Or we can vote for the only true progressive party the NDP the party that understands like other civilized nations that security tolerance freedom of speech and democracy can all walk hand in hand.

Canada has a shameful history of extremist views that includes refusing access to certain areas for Jews locking up Japanese Canadian civilians in interment camps during the Second World War locking up more than 80000 Canadian civilians of Austrian-Hungarian birth and Germans Poles Italians Bulgarians Croatians Turks Serbians Hungarians Russians Jews and Romanians during the First World War and more recently in sending aboriginal children to Christian-led residential schools. Let us hope we have learned something from these dark times in our shared history.

Mr. Harper’s team now have their own shameful record of dividing Canadians over first the gun registry in 2011 and now the niqab in 2015. But Mr. Harper also has a shameful record in balancing his own budget and in economic growth – the worst in Canada since the Great Depression. The only reason Mr. Harper is able to state that his current budget is in surplus is because he took money from the misnamed “Employment Insurance” fund a fund that is meant to support workers during layoffs and a fund paid for by hard-working Canadians and businesses.

Let’s be clear. There is no ‘right’ or ‘correct’ in holding one cultural practice above another. There is no safe future in a country that promotes intolerance racism and fear for when we do that the enemy lies within our borders not outside. And there is no prosperity when a government hands billions of dollars in government revenue in tax breaks to oil companies and then refuses pension increases to seniors and veterans and EI benefits to hardworking Canadians.

If Canadians are serious about removing the Harper Conservatives from office – the most right-wing organization to ever lead this country – then there is only one realistic alternative in this election the NDP. If Canadians once again split their vote between the NDP Liberals and Greens then Mr. Harper will once again return to office and once again see that return as a vote of confidence.

The NDP is the party that won the most seats and came second in the most ridings. Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals have consistently supported Mr. Harper in the House of Commons on 70 different votes earning the party the media label of “Blue Light.” Ms. May is also well known to be deeply religious and intolerant of a woman’s right to choose and that moves her into a very divisive and secular place among voters.

In electing Tom Mulcair Canadians will be voting for improved tolerance and democracy environmental protections responsible budgets protected EI enhanced health care enhanced pensions enhanced funding for the arts manufacturing and farming as well as improved support for green energy and local businesses. Mr. Mulcair will also help families by implementing a national affordable daycare program. The NDP is running more women candidates than any other party in history and more aboriginal candidates than any other party in this election representing a caucus that more effectively represents our population.

Where will the money come from? Mr. Mulcair will stop handing over our hard-earned tax dollars to the wealthy and to multi-national corporations who have robbed Canadians of more than their fair share. Mr. Mulcair will also cancel Bill C-51 and stand against the Trans-Pacific Partnership that is now threatening our supply management system and our dairy farming industry and will rob Canadians of more manufacturing jobs. Under Mr. Harper’s watch this country has lost more than 400000 good-paying manufacturing jobs. Mr. Mulcair intends to revitalize our manufacturing sector with strategic investments that would promote local and national economic growth and return decent jobs to Canadians.

If we truly want a more tolerant nation that has strong economic growth and caring programs for our most vulnerable citizens then there is only one clear choice in this election.

Laura Redman