We believe that it is essential that the Party develop greater clarity around what it means to be a progressive Federal Party in Canada today. While in 1999 the national convention adopted a policy paper “Social Democratic Forum on Canada’s Future” that examines some of those issues, there are new dynamics that must be considered. The Steering Committee recommends that the Party:
- Develop clear positions on the following two questions and reflect these positions in its policies and communications:
- While traditionally the Party’s orientation has been centralist, new voices on the political left seek more participatory forms of democracy that stress local politics - which puts political energy at the decentralized end of the spectrum. Devolution has altered the relative roles of federal, provincial and municipal governments, and also altered people’s notions of how politics work and where people should engage politically. What profile does a renewed party seek to project about the role of a federal government, and the role of federal politics?
- The Canadian experiment in nationhood is unique in the world. Practically, what does it mean to govern a nation of nations? How do the principles of self-determination for Quebec and constitutional recognition of the rights of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, intersect with policy development and implementation in a progressive context?