The Leap Manifesto appears to be tearing the New Democratic Party apart. But, Tom Walkom writes, it's hardly a radical document. And a number of its recommendations are being advocated or implemented:
Like Ottawa and virtually every provincial government, the manifesto calls for investment in clean energy projects. As Ontario has found with its windmill policy, this isn’t always a politically painless process. But except for the manifesto’s suggestion that, (as in Germany and Denmark) such projects be community-controlled, it is hardly novel.
In fact, the Trudeau Liberals have already promised to undertake many of the manifesto’s recommendations. They have said they will implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; they have pledged to invest in public transit and green infrastructure.Like the federal NDP, the manifesto calls for a national child-care program. Like the federal NDP (sometimes) and both U.S. Democratic presidential candidates, the manifesto opposes trade deals that limit government’s ability to regulate in the public interest.
Like former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin, the authors favour imposing a financial transaction tax to help pay for all of this.
The stumbling block is the manifesto's insistence that we build no more pipelines. In Alberta that's heresy -- understandably. But the world is changing. And energy is no longer spelled O. I. L.
Those who adapt will survive. Those who don't will meet the same fate as the creatures who gave us fossil fuels.