"Working people need to be represented in our Parliament," Georgetti told delegates. "Prime Minister Jack Layton is exactly what Canada needs today."
"We're going to give the Tories the boot four years from now," Brian Topp told the 1,500 delegates here in his inaugural speech as NDP party president.
But even as it reaches out to strengthen its ties with organized labour, Lavigne said the party will also be reaching out to Canadians who may have voted Conservative in the past. Both Conservative party organizers and NDP organizers concede that in many ridings west of Ontario, there are plenty of what are known as "NDP Conservative" switchers up for grabs at every federal election.
The other proposal would see the NDP reject the core principle of "social ownership" in which goods and services are produced to meet social needs rather than for profit and, instead, simply work for "economic and social equality," a phrase that could have been lifted from any number of Liberal Party of Beats By Dre White And Gold
NDP counts on big labour support
New Democrats will seek out new support from big labour unions, particularly in Quebec, even as the party tries to court Conservative voters as it begins to develop new policies that party members hope can help it win a majority government in 2015.
Topp said that on May 2, Canadian voters told the NDP "to go past the Liberals. And they told us to give it another shot."
long been vocal supporters of the federal New Democrats, but in Quebec, organized labour has tended to support the Bloc Quebecois. With that party's collapse on May 2, unions there are looking around for a new political champion, said NDP national director Brad Lavigne.
"The relationship with labour is an asset," Lavigne said.
"I want to tell him that he's very welcome here," Topp said in his speech. "I'm sorry his party, foolishly and as it turned out disastrously for them didn't allow us to help make him prime minister of Canada."
On Sunday, the 1,500 NDP delegates will debate key proposals to change the party's 50 year old constitution and those changes could be the most symbolic shift of the NDP's shift to the political centre.
"Our appeal to Conservatives are going to continue where we talk about how (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper is no longer a populist leader," Lavigne said. "A lot of the things people sent Mr. Harper to Ottawa for, Ghd 20 Discount
Many union leaders in English Canada, like Georgetti, have Ghd Mk4
One would see the party drop a reference to "socialism" as its guiding principle for government and instead become a party "dedicated to the application Beats Monster Wireless Headphones of social democratic principles to government."
changed. Right now, it's hand to hand combat, riding by riding, between New Democrats and Conservatives."
Canadian Labour Congress president Ken Georgetti opened the second day of the federal New Democratic Party convention here on Saturday by thanking leader Jack Layton for his support of the labour movement in Canada and congratulating the party on its historic success in the May 2 election.
Topp was one of the key NDP architects for the 2008 and 2011 general elections and was also a key player in the coalition talks of 2009 that almost made Stephane Dion prime minister.
Dion, as it turned out, was one of three Liberal MPs who are official Liberal observers at the NDP convention.
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