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With all the hyperventilating going on over what "socialism" is, it may truly be shocking for some to learn that Canada has had a democratic socialist political party for years in the form of the New Democratic Party.

The NDP was formed in the depths of the Great Depression back in 1933 in Regina, Saskatchewan, as the Commonwealth Cooperative Federation (CCF), and which successfully became the first socialist government in North America when it won the 1944 Saskatchewan provincial election under the leadership of Baptist minister Thomas "Tommy" Douglas.

The NDP has also led provincial governments in British Columbia and Manitoba, and staged a dramatic upset in Alberta five years ago when it upended the nearly 40-year reign of the Progressive Conservatives.

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So far as I can tell, our northern neighbors haven't collapsed as a result of having a democratic socialist political option, and surely our nation won't collapse either.

Kevin Young, Sheffield

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