The NDP is a party in Canada that is quite left of center in Canada. You see, in Canada, liberalism is not a dirty word. It's too bad that in the U.S. "liberalism" invokes a knee-jerk reaction in people who listen to Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and wonder why they are losing their jobs anyway.
In Canada the New Democrat Party (NDP) want to take things even further in favour of fairness for everybody. There is a National Health Care system in Canada, but it doesn't cover prescriptions, eyeglasses, dental and hearing aids for those under 65. Under the NDP, Canadians would enjoy full health care. There would be a national day care system so that parents would no longer have to struggle trying to fit work in with raising kids.
Unions would have an easier time forming. Alas, it's needed here. The Wal-Mart model of hiring people for as little as they can get away with paying is alive and well here in Canada. Part time and contract workers are becoming more numerous and full-time, full-benefit work is disappearing. While CEO salaries aren't as outlandish here, the gap between the rich and poor is increasing. The NDP is stemming that tide. The NDP is strong, especially in Hamilton. NDP MPs regularly block legislation that would make Canada more like the U.S. You know, such as stuffing the prisons with more non-violent offenders, giving ever more tax breaks to businesses while making it so much harder for unemployed people to collect unemployment benefits. The NDP would extend those benefits and make if faster and easier to collect them. After all, the employee has to pay into the system. It makes no sense to deny these benefits to them once they lose their jobs. That's another kick in the teeth people don't need.
Canada would be closer to Sweden in social benefits if the NDP were in power.
It's time that poorer people stopped suffering and seeing what little benefits they have get taken away from them when times get hard and budgets need to be balanced. The Wal-Mart model is a ticket to the bottom. We cannot build a great nation on Wal-Mart wages and part time work.
I first took note of the NDP when we first moved here. Especially of MPP Andrea Horwath. An MPP is like a State Senator. They handle Provencial and local politics.
I saw her on TV and she had the same fire in her eyes and sincerity in oration as Barack Obama had when running for president. She's the daughter of a union man and knows the stuggles of the middle class. While others get on TV and have so much polish they look manufactured, Andrea Horwath has a lot of fight in her. And fight she does.
We had a problem getting Trillium. Trillium is the prescription insurance arm of the government. You pay a premium based on last year's wages and get the rest covered. It's an interim step towards government paid prescriptions. Anyway, we applied last year while Alex's citizenship card was pending. At first we asked that they just count my prescriptions, since they are 90% of our drug expenses. Then Alex's card came in and we send an amendment letter. Because there were two differing dates, some bureacrat simply denied the whole thing. But it gets worse. They deleted our case file and sent us a blank application. We had our accountant contact them. They were rude on the phone, said there was no appeal process. Period. If we didn't like it, contact our MPP.
That was an outrage I did not want to take. So I did. The response was swift. The Ministry of Health investigated and our original case file was reinstated and our benefits started immediately.
This is the sort of can-do attitude that I have noticed that MPs in the NDP have. I am sure that if more people knew that their politicans cared and could fix their problems, more people would vote. This past election, only 69% voted. The apathy obviously stems from people thinking that their votes make no difference. If people only knew. So I'm passing my story along and have become a member of the NDP "New Devotee Party" member. I can't wait to get my citizenship so I can vote and participate.
I'm perfect NDP. The older I get, the more I get it; that sharing the wealth is the only way to build a safe, secure country. Inequality will only cause discontent, unrest and finally danger as angry people who have nothing to lose act out. A safety net must be erected and kept in place.