Why the NDP is the best party for Canada
“Politics matter! Ideas matter! Democracy matters!” That’s why I support the NDP.
I borrow the first several of these words from the late leader of the New Democratic Party, Jack Layton, because they inform why I, as both a young person and a Canadian, support Alistair MacGregor, Jagmeet Singh, and the entire NDP — and why Canada must likewise now find the courage to do so too.
I immigrated to Canada and the beautiful Cowichan Valley when I was only seven years old. This meant that growing up, I was never ingrained with the false Liberal-Conservative dichotomy that has characterized our state’s entire political history. Instead, I was free to learn how we continually falter back and forth between Liberal and Conservative governance without ever seeming to land on the Canadian vision we all long to realize. It is this perspective that has allowed me to orient myself toward a more hopeful, visionary politics, and is why I am so excited by the leadership of Jagmeet Singh. Singh promises something new: a politics directed by the principles of love and courage. At home and around the globe, this type of empathetic, moral, bold leadership is sorely needed, as we enter an era that demands the defense of democratic ideals and a reconfirmation of the best Canadian politics can be.
Coupled with the promise of better leadership is the certainty of better ideas, which can be easily recognized when comparing the platform of the NDP with the other major parties. Looking around our community, it is evident that Ottawa’s supposed solutions are not cutting it. Our rivers run dry, opioid use devastates families, and young people like me contemplate a future in which we can no longer afford to live in the valley we once called home. We must face these challenges not with the regressive or forever unrealized policies of the past, but with a vision of what Canada can be: a country where the most marginalized among us are lifted up, the middle class thrives, and a sustainable future is established for the enjoyment of generations to come. The NDP prides itself on being the party that is never satisfied; it’s time Canada adopted this same mindset.
Lastly, democracy matters, and while I could have spoken with direct reference to Alistair in any of the prior sections, this is where I believe his qualities as a leader and a public servant most shine. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to work in Alistair’s constituency office for the summer. During this time, I was afforded the opportunity to join a team that worked tirelessly to serve every member of our community, and see how Alistair took the time to speak with, and more importantly listen to, as many constituents as possible in order to best serve everyone in our diverse community. If I am an idealist about politics, it is only because, thanks to Alistair and his team, I have seen firsthand the best of what a representational democracy can be.
In this election, we can make history by establishing a Canadian politics of service and love, one courageous enough to not only propose big ideas but see them put into practice, and to reconfirm Canada’s place as a leading democracy on the global stage.
This is a defining moment of peril and opportunity. I urge you all to embrace it with hope, love, and courage.
Ender McDuff, 20 years old