Volume 96, Issue 76
Thursday, February 13, 2003

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New NDP support growing

Re: "Western professor seeks local NDP nomination," Feb. 7

To the Editor:

As a Western student and brand new member of the New Democratic Party, I welcome your paper's interest in the upcoming London North Centre nomination race, and of education faculty member Rebecca Coulter's candidacy. In this vein, I would further invite you to extend your coverage and investigate the rest of the "three women" running for nomination in this riding.

One of them is Julie Glaser, and unlike the other candidates, she is a local activist who, until recently, worked from outside the NDP. Julie represents the new grassroots movement within the party, epitomized by the stunning leadership win of Jack Layton, to consolidate the voices of a broad spectrum of citizens, to protect and further our common interests as Canadians.

This is the type of coalition building and grassroots campaigning that has always given birth to the best movements in Canadian society, from universal health care and affordable housing, to environmentalism, fair trade, accessible education and, most recently, the anti-war movement. These are issues which we all care about.

Unfortunately, the NDP hasn't done the best job of reaching out to the vast majority of us at ground level affected by them. At the same time, big business has had a successful end run on democracy, setting the government agenda at all levels and pushing the rest of us to the margins. I think this is about to change.

It is time for a citizen-generated movement to broaden democracy and rebuild communities from the ground up, and it will take spirited new leaders like Julie Glaser to bring these changes about.

Bill Kamerman
Comparative Literature II

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