The kids are perfectly normal

Arash Azizi makes the case for Her Majesty’s youthful opposition.

Far from being “one of us,” Members of Parliament often are lawyers, businesspeople, journalists or experts of one kind or other. Even when they are not, they often adopt lifestyles so widely different from the rest of us that too often they lose their common touch. In short, perhaps to the dismay of Adams, legislatures in Canada, as in other liberal democracies, are in no way an “exact portrait . . . of the people at large.”

That the New Democratic Party has fought to challenge this status quo should come as no surprise. After all, when Tommy Douglas founded its predecessor, the CCF, the political fable of “Mouseland” was his guiding principle. He thought mice should stop electing “a government made up of big, fat cats” and fight for a government of themselves, by themselves, for themselves. His was to be the party of “mice,” the party of the common folk. The battle Douglas began has just reached a whole new stage. For the first time, the party of common folk has emerged as the official opposition. Why then should it come as a surprise that a large part of its new caucus is comprised not of political players but of youth, students, waitresses and single parents?

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