Monday, May 30, 2011

Social Ownership: The Position of the Socialist Party of Ontario

Socialist Party of Ontario
May 30, 2011

At the founding convention of the Socialist Party of Ontario the bulk of the day was given over to the resolutions and platform planks proposed by members from across Ontario. These were debated, amended and voted on and have become the basis for what we will campaign on in the coming days-and-months and will be our election platform. These policies as adopted will be released in full by the end of the week.

As an example of the type of vision for which we will advocate, we are posting here one of the proposed policy positions that were adopted. Originally proposed and beautifully composed by Adam Fulsom of Ottawa, it a comprehensive call for a truly new economic direction for our economy and society.

Unanimously passed by the delegates, it is now the platform position of the Socialist Party of Ontario.

"The Socialist Party of Ontario believes that the labour power and natural resources of a society should be used in an ecologically compatible, equitable and sustainable manner for the benefit of all, including future generations.

The economy of a truly democratic society should also be cooperative and democratically managed so that citizens can be active in the running of their workplaces as well as planning the direction of economic development.

Such an equitable, cooperative and democratic economy that planned for the future and took full account of the needs of both people and the planet would be less wasteful, more inclusive and would help to solve many of the pressing problems facing the world.

Yet the private accumulation of vast sums of capital, an inevitable result of the capitalist system, prevents equitable distribution of wealth and real democratic participation.

And the capitalist system, which has profit as its only consideration, promotes and relies on unsustainable growth in population, expansion and consumption and does not take the needs of people or the planet into account.

This private accumulation of wealth and power has created a situation where CEOs may make in a few hours what workers make in a year, where global warming advances rapidly, pollution and chemicals poison our air and water, species are becoming extinct and natural habitats are under threat, where it is increasingly difficult to find decent employment and retire at a reasonable age with security and dignity, and where many people suffer needlessly from poverty

The Socialist Party of Ontario will work actively, through government and social movements, for the social ownership of natural resources, large manufacturing, electricity, high-tech, large agro-corporations, and other important industries. Socially owned companies must form the core of the economy, thus enabling planning and democratic management of the economy.

Further, socially owned companies must make the betterment of society and the environment their top priorities and consider these objectives even before profit. Profit made will go towards improving the company, community, working conditions and the environment and will not be used for the enrichment of a small group. These companies will be democratically managed by a board made up of workers, citizens, experts and government.

The Socialist Party of Ontario believes that the socialized sector of the economy, which is to be the largest sector, will work cooperatively with small and medium sized enterprises while encouraging and promoting co-operatives and other social, non-profit organizations."

As stated previously all the resolutions that were passed and are now the platform of the Socialist Party will be released in full, by the end of this week. They represent a starting point in our fight for a continuing and evolving electoral and activist agenda that will truly express a democratic socialist vision of real systemic change. Change that is not needed one day, maybe, but rather is needed in our society here-and-now and that has been allowed by the so-called mainstream parties to slip out of the political discourse in our province and country. They all now, to one-degree-or-another, accept the basic capitalist underpinning of our economy and the fundamental injustice that this results in.

In the lead up to the election the platform of the Socialist Party will continue to expand democratically by your contributions to it. If you have any policies or platform planks to propose for inclusion please email them to 

They will be presented and voted on at future Policy Assemblies by the membership. It is never to late to write the future.

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