The Honourable Paul Hellyer
A big new progressive pro-Canada party remains the only hope to save Canada and keep it independent. A close look at the realpolitik makes the case.
A lot of water has gone under the political bridge in the year 2003, and there is more to come. First, the NDP held its leadership convention and chose Toronto alderman Jack Layton to succeed Alexa McDonough. Layton has a lot of experience at the municipal level where he championed the causes of the poor and homeless without forgetting the infrastructure, transportation and other requirements of a dynamic city as a generator of wealth.
Layton's interests are in many ways parallel to those of the Canadian Action Party.
Then came the Progressive Conservative convention at the end of May and June 1. Literally hundreds of CAPers took out PC memberships in order to support David Orchard, a fellow nationalist, for the leadership. David ran a strong campaign, raised the profile of the nationalist issue, and used his 25 per cent of the popular vote to be kingmaker in a controversial deal with winner Peter MacKay.
Despite a valiant effort by Orchard and his loyal supporters, however, the PC Party appears to be stubbornly committted to its old ways. In his first newsletter following the convention, and later confirmed in a speech to the Confederation Club on June 19, MacKay said, "Let me make myself completely clear on this point. I completely and unequivocally support NAFTA and the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. We created these agreements. It will remain our policy bedrock -- the crown jewel."
Obviously, the PC Party is still the party of Brian Mulroney, Conrad Black, Peter White and the Bay Street continentalists and globalizers.
The Liberal Party is next. Paul Martin already has the November convention sewn up, with Sheila Copps the only challenger remaining in the race.
The net result of all this is that there is not a single ray of sunshine on the political horizon for those of us who are concerned about the future of this beautiful country. Martin is more popular than the incumbent prime minister and, barring a miracle, he will sweep the country in a 2004 election, picking up seats both in Quebec and Western Canada.
The "Prime Minister in waiting," as many are calling him, is already committed to closer economic and military ties with the U.S., including support for the Pentagon's National Missile Defense, which is only the the first step towards putting weapons of mass destruction in space. Martin also favours Canada's participation in the Free Trade Area of the Americas treaty (FTAA). This will entrench the infamous "national treatment" clause. So if Martin wins a majority in the next election, you can say "Goodbye Canada."
Only a miracle can save us.
Mercifully, a miracle is possible with the creation of a big, new, broadly-based, progressive pro-Canada party -- just like the one CAP has been promoting for more than two years now. To be realistic, it would have to begin with the merger of the NDP, CAP and one or two other small parties to form the nucleus. I stress the word nucleus because that would be just the beginning. There are literally thousands of Orchard Tories, and other progressives from that party, as well as Liberal and Alliance patriots, who would be willing to sign on.
Once it actually begins to happen, support would snowball because there are patriots of all political stripes who are yearning for a ray of hope.
A new, progressive pro-Canada party would give Canadians a real choice when the election is held. It would be unlike the other parties in its compassion for ordinary people and its love for Canada. Its pull would be strong enough to activate many of the 39 per cent of Canadians, especially young people, who otherwise wouldn't bother to vote. At least they would have a reason -- the power to actually make a difference.
So if you really love Canada, please, actively seek out your NDP and PC friends -- and other patriots as well -- and get them excited about the idea. This is one case where the grass roots really have the power.
Use it or lose it. The choice is yours.
CAP votes to join with NDP
Delegates to the Canadian Action Party Biennial Convention, held in Toronto September 20-21, unanimously endorsed a resolution to merge with the NDP to form the nucleus of a big, new, progressive pro-Canada party. The new party would be designed to attract progressives and patriots from the Progressive Conservative, Liberal, Alliance, Green, Bloc and other parties.
"There is too much talk about 'uniting the right' and not enough about uniting the rest," said Paul Hellyer, CAP's Leader. "After reading an account of Paul Martin' speech to the Metropolitan Montreal Board of Trade, it is clear that his party should be renamed the conservative Liberals.
"Three conservative parties in Canada are too many," Hellyer added, "especially when about 70 per cent of the total electorate are `left of right' in their basic philosophy. What is needed is a broadly-based, progressive pro-Canada party which will put the interests of the majority ahead of those of the trans-national corporate elite."
Keynote speaker Walter Pitman, former president of Ryerson Polytechnic University and former deputy-leader of the NDP, congratulated CAP members on passing the resolution.
"It is not only Canada which is at a crossroads, it is the planet Earth," he said, "and an independent Canada will have the opportunity to really influence world events."
"CAP is the catalyst," said Herb Wiseman, an NDP observer who is an enthusiastic supporter of the new party idea. "This is the beginning."
CAP's proposal was to be forwarded to the Leader and Executive of the NDP within a few days of the convention. Although a previous effort to merge with the NDP had been ill-timed, NDP leader Jack Layton has said he will take this current proposal under advisement.
Further notes on the CAP conference
By Herb Wiseman
The Canadian Action Party kicked off its convention September 20 with a view to making history with its One Big Party concept.
CAP president Connie Fogal summarized activities and historical highlights since the previous convention. Her comments about the first-past-the-post electoral system in Canada set the stage for the later motion that called for the government to hold a binding referendum on instituting a form of proportional representation.
Fogal's introduction of CAP leader Paul Hellyer, during which his exceptional qualities were outlined, was met with enthusiastic applause.
In line with the message in his books, Goodbye Canada! and One Big Party, Mr. Hellyer warned of the short time Canada has to turn away from the disaster facing this country. He reviewed the almost complete privatization of the money supply, setting the stage for a resolution to reaffirm CAP's policy to have a 50-50 split between government-created and bank-created money.
He outlined the role of the Bank of Canada in extricating us from the depression of the '30s. He told how, under the influence of Friedman economics, it "gave back to the private banks their monopoly to print money" in the mid-'70s. "It has been downhill ever since," he said.
Some other causes of our country's problems were the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA, he noted; and if we do not stop the Liberals, the WTO and FTAA will be the last nails in Canada's coffin.
Mr. Hellyer noted how the Auto Pact protected Canada's fledgling auto industry (until recently) and noted that the huge increase in trade with the USA would likely have occurred without the trade agreements - simply because of the American demand for agricultural products, energy and other resources. While a few of us were better off, he pointed out that the GDP per person is actually lower than before the trade agreements were signed. In his latest book, One Big Party he has a chapter entitled "Mulroney's Sizzle is a Fizzle."
Thus, Hellyer concludes, there is an urgent and immediate need for One Big Party of progressive-minded Canadians to provide an alternative to the Martin Liberals. He hopes that this new party will be in place by the next federal election which is widely expected next spring. Without it, he says "Goodbye Canada."
"Who will grasp the nettle and save Canada?" Hellyer challenged. Not Paul Martin.
Keynote speaker Walter Pitman provided the icing on the cake. He was the first MP elected as a member of The New Party that bridged the CCF as it morphed into the NDP. He praised Mr. Hellyer and congratulated CAP members for their commitment to Canada, contrasting them with today's Liberals whose priorities seem to be money rather than Canada's sovereignty. Pearson would lament Canada's failure to deal with many issues, especially child poverty, he said. He emphasized Canada's long-standing commitment to the United Nations which he acknowledged is not a perfect institution but still necessary. He singled out the AIDS/HIV pandemic in Africa as an urgent crisis that is indiscriminately killing off the best and brightest of that continent.
To see the formal resolutions that came from the conference (available in Adobe Acrobat format), visit the CAP web site: http://www.canadianactionparty.ca
|Herb Wiseman was a candidate for the National Party of Canada in Peterborough, Ont. and is now a member of the NDP Party.|