Sunday, December 17, 2006

Quebec Solidaire – The future of social democracy?

Most social democrats these days – well, unless you are Hugo Chavez, are little more than the smiley face of corporate capitalism. Yes, it is good the NDP is against the Gringo's wars, and I will never forget that, but what about some policies that will really help people, rather than nibbling round the edges of the system? But there is one party that does deliver, and that is Quebec Solidaire.

Don't believe me? Look at my summation of a portion of their new 25 point program:

* Support for the social economy, based in part on trade union investment funds, government institutions to buy their products and services.

* Lengthen vacations to 5 weeks and begin debate on shortening the work week.

* Change the sales tax in the direction of a tax on “bads” rather than goods, i.e. tax the ecologically destructive. Less tax on necessities, higher tax on luxuries.

* Nationalize windmill power generation, to be run democratically by the regions and FN peoples. Quebec Hydro to prioritize the needs of ordinary Quebecois.

* Public forests to be run by local non-profit societies. To be managed in an environmental manner and to allow for the maximization of value added production.

* Water to become a permanent “public good”.

* Moratorium on GM food. Support for farmers to change to organic methods.

* A law forbidding the use of abusive law suits by corporations and governments against the public.

* Abolish all anti-trade union laws, encourage unionization of women.

* To support community organizations, to recognize their importance and respect their autonomy.

* The right of self-determination of Aboriginal peoples with the resources to allow them to re-gain their autonomy.

* The election of a constituent assembly which will engage the population in a democratic process of consultation for both the political future of Quebec and the nature of its political institutions. The goal a Quebec Constitution.

*The adoption of certain proportional ballot measures plus guarantee of gender parity and a great involvement of minorities in the political process.

Note that all of these points, either directly or indirectly, are measures that empower the ordinary person.

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