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New Poll Shows 58 Percent of Canadians See Socialism Positively

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/28/new-poll-shows-58-percent-canadians-see-socialism-positively

Canada has the good fortune to have had the legacy of Tommy Douglas who was unafraid to openly proclaim himself as a Socialist. As such the people in Canada tend to understand that the best of what the Government offers its people in the way of services are in fact Socialist programs. Even Conservative voters understand that the Old Age security system and the health care system are in fact Socialist programs.

In the USA the media goes out of its way to pretend that Old Age Security and Medicare have nothing to do with Socialism , thus those placards carried by Republican supporters proclaiming opposition to Socialism even as the other side might read “keep Government hands off my Medicare”.

FDR introduced most of those programs and these later added to by LBJ but both those leaders went out of their way to suggest it was NOT Socialism.

Sanders is the first political leader in the USA to openly proclaim what he suggests as changes as Socialism thus he one of those most responsible for the growth in support for the word South of the Border.

The contrast between the two Countries is a clear example of how peoples are CONDITIONED to believe what they believe in.


Let me suggest that the US has the legacy of Eugene Victor Debs, another out-and-proud socialist, to build on, and has tried instead to erase him and his movement from history texts. And, as you suggest, Sanders may yet be the catalyst that renews socialist scholarship.


Time for an “NDP” starting here?!

Teacher: O.K., children, please stand, face the flag, and recite the pledge of propaganda…er…allegiance.


I did not mean to suggest that the USA has not had a legacy of peoples advocating for Socialism. Helen Keller was another avid Socialist but this too not mentioned in the History books. There was/is a systemic attempt to ensure the messages of a Eugene Debs and a Helen Keller never heard.

Had Debs won a Presidential election , the USA would likely be Socialist today and the entire world better off for it.

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I’d say the difference in Canada is that the one concept is not seen as the binary opposite of the other i.e.Capitalism and Socialism can balance each other where progress is observed to be incremental and evolutionary i.e. the space inhabited by the Liberal party which generally has been the governing party of Canada.

Side note: 95% of those polled actually had no idea what capitalism and socialism really are or the differences between the two systems. Most think socialism is just capitalism but the government gives you free stuff.

Polls: Hillary beats Trump! Dewey beats Truman! Gore Beats Bush! Kerry beats Bush! Pollsters, like economists, want you to believe what they do is scientific but their fields are mostly fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants voodoo. If the real scientists at NASA had used a margin of error of +/-3% when sending Apollo to the moon, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins would be still be floating somewhere in deep space. If surgeons operated like economists, they would tell you that what they are about to do has a 50/50 chance of making things either better, worse, or having no effect at all; they’ll let you know in 30 years.

They threw him in jail for his ideas. Lula can relate.

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I’d settle for a conservative who got that facts right, didn’t spout any old BS to win, and who thought more about social values than their own back pocket. But this is pure fantasy.

For those seeking a deeper understanding of socialist ideas in Canada, the Socialist Party of Canada has this website.


The first Socialist Party of Canada was founded in 1905 and re-established 1931. It was significant in the creation of the One Big Union

And in the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike


Can I add the Socialist Labor Party and Daniel De Leon to the list of forgotten pioneers.

The Industrial Workers of the World and such activists as Vincent St John, Big Bill Haywood and many others.

John Keracher of the Proletarian Party

The World Socialist Party of the United States

Trotskyists such as James Cannon, Hal Draper, Max Shachtman

Many, many more can be cited

A whole tradition, history and legacy has been deleted from America’s labor history. In culture only Warren Beatty’s Reds and Robert Redford’s Battle of Blair Mountain has been Hollywoods’s only contribution


Absolutley…Canada’s Greatest Canadian…Tommy Douglas was the elected leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation which was a Democratic Socialist political party. The policies, the citizens of Canada wanted(for all Canadians including the wealthy) were created and implemented . The 1933 Regina Manifesto is a public statement on what the C.C.F. stood for. The New Democratic Party of Canada today are “Liberal Lights” and are so far removed from it’s past, it’s not even worth voting for. Time for Socialist Canadians to " bring back " the C.C.F.
Mr. Blair M. Phillips
St. Catharines, Ontario

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Eugene Debbs, Helen Keller, Walter Reuther, John Dewey are just a few more Americans that held Socialist political views and beliefs. Great Americans…everyone of them.
Good posting Mr. Johnston.
Mr. Phillips

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John Sayles’ Matewan has much to recommend it.

A socialist democracy is the better system.

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Apologies, I over-generalized.

The classic movie of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath is another omission,

I’m no movie buff, so I am sure others can add to the list but compared to the other genres, Hollywood deliberately neglects labor history and presents instead travesties such as Stallone’s FIST. Nothing to do with the lack of drama or personalities - they decline to show any sympathetic message to the working class. As for TV …the Waltons and Little House on the Porairie seems to be their limited vision.