I am not a NDP member. but many of the things we take for granted and would not part with in Canada derive from the Socialist policies.
We have subsidized Education and rank #1 in the world for post secondary graduates 51% of the population 20% above the world average
We enjoy a position in the top ten for living standards in the world. Due to unions keeping wage standards comensurate with costs.
These are only a couple of things Socialists or the CCF have fought forover the years.
Mr. Douglas's fame rests on medicare as free and universal medical insurance. Thus, when the CBC designated Mr. Douglas as the Greatest Canadian six years ago, it cited medicare as his signature achievement. Mr. Douglas introduced the country's first universal-coverage hospital insurance program in 1947
Tommy Douglas was, beyond doubt, a Great Canadian. Amid the madness of our own debt spiral, his singular achievement appears more remarkable than ever. He set an example of fiscal restraint (and, ironically, of limited government) that no other Canadian premier approached in the 20th century. In 17 years as premier, he produced 17 balanced budgets. From this perspective, he governed in a uniquely rational, disciplined and principled way.
When Mr. Douglas took office in 1944, Saskatchewan had a debt of $218-million - 38 per cent of provincial GDP. By 1949, he had reduced the debt to $70-million. By 1953, he had eliminated it. By 1961, when he left office, he had produced 17 successive budget surpluses. By reducing the debt, and thereby reducing interest costs, he was able to spend more on public services - without raising taxes.
There have always been two kinds of democratic socialists: the Christian socialists (who cherished thrift) and the Keynesian socialists (who celebrated debt). A Baptist minister, Mr. Douglas - as premier of a poor and humble province - preferred Proverbs to Keynes. (See Proverbs 21:5: "Steady plodding brings prosperity.")
In the end, it's a shame that Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau (in designing, implementing and adapting medicare) didn't listen to Mr. Douglas's advice. "I think that there is value in having every family, and every individual, make some individual contribution," he said. "I think it has a psychological value. I think it keeps the public aware of the cost and gives people a sense of personal responsibility. Even if we could finance [medicare]without a per capita tax, I personally would advise against it."
Mr. Douglas, the pragmatic socialist, was right. Free medical care lets people remain personally indifferent to costs, discourages thrift and encourages debt. Medicare needs Tommy Douglas memorial user fees.