A principle worth sticking

9 Apr

The New Democratic Party — Canada’s flagship party of principle — may well be poised to shun the very principle on which it was founded.

Apparently weary of the red-baiting tactics of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other neo-McCarthyites, the NDP will vote to amend the language of its constitution at the Party’s 50th annual convention in Montreal this weekend.

On the table is a proposal to soften the Party’s historical embrace of “democratic socialism” by wedding that alarming Trotskyite phrase with more current social democratic jargon, as in:

“New Democrats seek a future which brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, have worked through farmer, labour, co-operative, feminist, human rights and environmental movements to build a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals.”

Got that?

Since we weren’t completely sure we understood this semantic contortionism, we turned to Thomas Mulcair (“Tom”, to his friend) for clarification.

“The proposed rewording of our constitution is nothing less than a timely and refreshing juxtaposition of obscurantist terminology,” said Mulcair, “which speaks to the public’s overwhelming desire for clarity and transparency that is so obviously absent from the Prime Minister’s annoyingly solipsistic claptrap or the vacuous epistemological confusion inherent in the puerile and affected ideological maunderings of the arriviste Liberal leader.”

“If I have learned anything during my first year on the job,” added Mulcair, “it is that Canadians want plain speaking from their politicians. And if you entrust the NDP with your vote in the next election, I promise you that’s all you’ll get.”

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