I read the Regina Manifesto in 1958 and have to admit to voting for the NDP more often than not. I also read George Grant’s Lament for a Nation in the 1960s. I think of myself as an old CCFer / Red Tory. I grew up in a radical riding, Spadina, and attended the University of Toronto when Stephen Lewis was head of the young NDP there. I applauded when he and his father got rid of the Waffle; I guess I’m just not that far left. I felt great unease when the CCF joined with unions to form the New Democratic Party. One joins a union for job protection and to improve working conditions. Union members do not make a political commitment when they join a union and they certainly should not have to commit any of their union dues to a particular political party. Joining a political party is an individual decision and unions speak for the collective in work and employment matters only. I am also uneasy about unions having a vote on policy and leadership in the NDP. I am not unhappy about the Canadian Auto Workers union voting to formally sever ties with the New Democratic Party. In fact I wish the NDP would sever ties with all its unions and get back to being a party of the centre left. Maybe then they can get back to being Canada’s conscience and a truly progressive party.