The Freedom of the State? Recent NDP Governments and a Reply to the Globalization Sceptics


  • *Thanks to Michael Burawoy, Gil Eyal, Ofer Sharone, Erik Wright, members of Harley Shaiken's trade and development working group, and three anonymous CRSA reviewers for their very useful comments on this paper at one stage or another. I am also grateful to the B.C. Legislative Internship Program, which allowed me an unusually close look at the B.C. political landscape in 1998 and single-handedly piqued my curiosity about provincial politics. Lastly, Margaret Weir and Peter Evans very patiently and generously guided me through the writing of the M.A. paper on which this article was based. This manuscript was first submitted in September 2001 and accepted in February 2003.


Un grand nombre d'anciens partisans du Nouveau Parti démocratique, particulièrement les organisations syndicales et les défenseurs des pauvres, ont déclaré avoir été abandonnés par les gouvernements NPD en Ontario et en Colombie-Britannique pendant les années 1990. Cet article examine cette critique à la lumière du meilleur argument théorique disponible pour penser que les politiques du NPD auraient pu être beaucoup plus sociales sans aboutir à réduire L'investissement privé. L'article avance que ce cas théorique alternatif, avancé par quelques importants «sceptiques de la mondialisation », est imparfait sur plusieurs points, et conclut alors que le NPD n'était pas capable de mieux servir les intérêts des travailleurs et des pauvres dans ces deux provinces.

Many erstwhile supporters of the New Democratic Party, particularly organized labour and poverty advocates, claimed that they were betrayed by NDP governments in Ontario and British Columbia in the 1990s. This paper considers this charge in light of the best available theoretical case for thinking that the NDP's policies could have been significantly more social democratic without leading to reduced private investment. The paper finds this alternative theoretical case–articulated by leading “globalization sceptics”–to be flawed in several ways, and so concludes that the NDP could not have served workers and the poor in these two provinces much better than they did.