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By Larry Rosnuk, Niagara Centre

I write this and it only represents my opinions and is based on my experiences as a 76-year-old widower and second generation Canadian. It is based on my experiences as an Ontarian.

I find that the NDP doesn’t follow its own principles and therefore has very little credibility with voters any more. Hence, fourth place in Ottawa and third in Ontario‘s popular vote to the Liberals that were in complete disarray.

Our new Leader in Ontario is running the same old campaign: “Choose Us As We Are Better Than …” the present Premier. Yet we have no plans and say those same old things, like how to pay for our platform. We will just “tax the rich and corporations” doesn’t cut it anymore.

We had a leadership race in Ontario that was discriminatory against the poor, and only an active union member could meet the financial requirements to enter the race. It discriminated against members with the good intentions of the ONDP and against the general membership. All members should be treated equally in the party. Is this not what everyone would like?

Although one vote for all seems democratic, how can a vote from a $5 membership by a 13 year old be equal to members of 20 or 30 years of involvement when creating policy or voting for a leadership review? Our party should take the lead from our Indigenous sister and brothers and respect our elders who have the experience and knowledge.

We believe in “equal pay for equal work,“ yet we give special status to unions that sign contracts that pay more to older workers than the new members doing the same work. We give special status to unions whose pension funds are invested in Highway 407 in Ontario and make millions on the backs of a billion dollar loss in productivity, increased pollution due to gridlock and the frustration of lost time and energy which commuters take home to their families.

In Ontario, we are running on the fact that Doug Ford broke his promise on the Green Belt. This is criminal insider trading, but when Bob Rea was elected, the ONDP broke its campaign promise of Public Auto Insurance. The only member who called him out was Peter Kormos, MPP from Welland, and for that he was kicked out of Caucus. Obviously, integrity and honesty do not count.

Having only been a union member for two short contracts and a lifetime social democrat, I supported “Rae Days” to share the pain for the benefit of all. But for some unions, their belief in the printed word, without any chance of compassion, is as bad as religious extremists who only believe in their book.

You cannot trust anyone who only reads from one book. The far Left wants “public ownership and control,” and this certainly was necessary at the turn of the century, but is impossible in the global economy. What we should be working towards is creating collectives that compete with the greed of capitalists.

This can be applied to all industries. It would be “collective ownership and control“ to compete with capitalists that are creating problems the world is facing, including the high cost of living and homelessness.

Sadly, we elect leaders that create policy based on their own cultural interest or those of their financial backers. The Liberals and Conservatives are led by the nose by the capitalists they serve. Our leaders, however, do not follow the NDP Constitution and are autocratic and undemocratic.

I have read many articles from our intellectuals like Avi Lewis, Linda McQuaig and Naomi Klein, who believe in the common good for all, yet I do not see their ideas in our policy. Why is that? Can our party even articulate what an NDP government in Canada would even look like, and how our economy would function?

The NDP needs to change its undemocratic policies, lead by example, take on a new paradigm and change our party from its historic labour roots to become a party of all people.

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