Broadbent Principles for Canadian Social Democracy

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

All people have equal worth and equal rights – and all benefit from living in an increasingly equal society. To achieve this in a country with a market-based economy requires an ongoing process of decommodification, a process that sees important social and economic benefits taken out of the market and transformed into universal rights, such as in health services, education, social welfare and housing.

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A progressive approach to COVID-19 recovery

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

a COVID-19 recovery strategy, governed by progressive principles and values, would look something like the following : 1. Prioritize the needs of people… 2. Reinforce people’s economic and social rights… 3. Public investment… 4. Transition to greater national self-sufficiency in some sectors… 5. Spend what it takes… In implementing all of the above, dogmatism should be avoided.

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Putting economic and social rights at the heart of policy-making

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Too many people are currently being left behind as changing social, economic, and political tides wash past them… we must help people and communities weather these changes by strengthening how we think about, and develop, public policy. We can do this by prioritizing the human rights and dignities of all Canadians. Not only civil and political rights, but economic and social rights, too.

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What kind of Canada do we want?

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

October 08, 2012
… Canadians widely agree: we are facing a serious and growing problem. A large majority of Canadians — including a majority of Conservative voters — are willing to pay higher taxes to protect our social programs… The federal government controls many of the key levers — income security programs, a progressive income tax system, and transfers to the provinces — that we need to combat inequality. Canadians should demand action.

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Broadbent poll uncovers public desire to close inequality gap

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Apr 09 2012
The biggest worry among Canadians is that it will lead to declining living standards, followed by concern about increased crime, and the erosion of public health care and other public services. The majority of Canadians are also worried that income inequality leads to fewer opportunities for young Canadians to do as well or better than their parents… Perhaps most alarming in the long run is that a majority believe that the growing gap can erode the quality of our democracy. No matter where you live or how much you make, our public opinion research shows that the growing gap is viewed as decidedly un-Canadian.

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Equality or barbarism?

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Oct 16 2010
For four decades after the war Canadians joined with citizens in other North Atlantic democracies in creating the most productive and equitable societies in history… For both ethical reasons and the functional need for stability, an expanding role for government and increasing equality came to be taken for granted. Left behind was the belief that individuals and the economy should be left to fend for themselves. In its place was… an idea retrieved from ancient Greece, that democracy meant more than the right set of procedures for selecting and maintaining governments. It also meant government action for the people.

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Rude and crude, eschewed [Parliament]

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Sep. 17, 2010
Some improvements… can certainly be made in parliamentary procedures, especially in Question Period… But much more is needed. Only structural change can ensure that Parliament can be more relevant. Only such change can both better reflect the nation’s differing values and regions, while producing more civility, political co-operation and stable governments… to enhance the relevance of Parliament to Canadians, requires long overdue electoral reform.

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The case for the welfare state

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

July 14, 2010
The major European welfare states – Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany – over the past two decades have had highly efficient private-sector economies, as well as “responsible” fiscal and monetary policies. In recent decades, their productivity increases have equaled or exceeded those in the U.S. and Canada… They have higher levels of class and gender equality, fewer teenage pregnancies, less violence, more citizen participation and significantly better health outcomes than other democracies.

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The Rise and Fall of Economic and Social Rights – What Next?

Friday, June 11th, 2010

May 29, 2010
In the last election, over 60% of Canadians voted for parties promising redistributive policy initiatives in housing, pensions, employment insurance benefits, post-secondary education, and programs for people with disabilities. These all involve social and economic rights… Now is the time for the federal government to join in and do its share. Now is the time to act on behalf of the poor and to work for more equality. Now is the time to live up to our decision made in 1976 to build a Canada committed equally to all rights-economic and social, as well as political and civil.

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Not only bankers need a bailout

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

May 23 2010
Regardless of what is done with respect to a tax on financial institutions, including what some are now calling a Financial Activities Tax, there is a compelling case for implementing a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT)… But in terms of how that same banking system should contribute toward alleviating future crises our government has little to say. Indeed, our message is simple, and simplistic: not our problem. I think the government is wrong.

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