SAVAGE: The NDP turns 60: It’s never truly been the political arm of organized labour

Brock University Labour Studies Professor Larry Savage wrote a piece recently published in The Conversation about the misconception that the New Democratic Party is the political arm of Canada’s labour movement.

He writes:

“The New Democratic Party turns 60 this summer. Throughout its entire history, media pundits and political opponents have lambasted the party as the puppet of organized labour. This characterization, however, no longer holds water — if it ever did.

The widely held yet deeply flawed assumption that the NDP is the political arm of Canada’s labour movement has been held up by voices on both the left and right of the political spectrum. The history and reality of the party-union relationship, however, is much more complex.

The Canadian Labour Congress played a key role in officially launching the NDP in August 1961 as a new progressive electoral vehicle for working-class voters.

The party’s pro-union architects anticipated that the creation of the NDP would squeeze out the Liberals and establish the party as the primary alternative to the Conservatives. However, that much-hoped-for electoral realignment has never really materialized at the federal level.”

Continue reading the full article here.

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