Put a group of Canadians together and ask them to define what it means to be Canadian. It won't be long before the subject of health care comes up, or the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). Canadians are justifiably proud of our social programs, proud that we judge our success as a nation on how we look after all of our citizens...not simply on the wealth generated by the most affluent.
The Canada Health Act, CPP...both initiatives of the NDP.
And now, in this election, the NDP is surging in the polls as Canadians come home to the NDP. All across Canada people are seriously considering voting New Democrat, many for the first time.
It shouldn't come as a surprise, the NDP has long been the conscience of our democracy. While most Canadians have traditionally voted either Liberal or Conservative, I'd argue that many Canadians have always had a soft spot for Canada's third party.
In horse racing there's an old saw that goes:
'When the odds are split between the favourites, bet on the long shot'.
Well, they might have been long shots at the start of the campaign, but they're looking anything but now.
I've already voted, and I went with the Liberals based largely on strategic considerations given my riding. But I have voted NDP in the past and even held party membership at one time. With that being said I'm going to go channel my inner speech writer and suggest to Mr. Layton a theme he may want to drive home in the closing days of this election.
Come Home to the NDP
On May 2nd Canadians have a choice. Canadian voters can go back to voting for Liberal and Conservative candidates. Back to voting same old, same old, giving us governments that have brought scandal and distrust to our democracy.
Or Canadians can take another road, and come home to the NDP. Home to a party that stands up for Canada's most vulnerable citizens, home to a party that realizes Canada's strength and prosperity is not complete unless it is enjoyed by all. Home to a party that isn't held hostage by corporate donations, a party that advances the issues of importance to hard working Canadians. Sustainable health care, fair treatment for our seniors, interest rates on credit cards that are reasonable, not usurious.
All across this country, from coast to coast to coast, fishery workers and loggers, in offices and on factory floors, les anglophones et les francophones...Canadians in every region are realizing they have another choice, a different road, a better option.
Many Canadians will be voting for the NDP for the very first time. Voting for the first time for a party that truly reflects their values, their hopes, their belief in what Canada is and in what Canada can become.
Come home Canada, home to the New Democratic Party.
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