Pierre Trudeau was arguably the most ideologically left-leaning prime minister Canada ever had. He was often blunt-speaking and rarely backed down in any debates. But even Pierre Trudeau wouldn’t dare embrace the label of being a socialist, and he vehemently denied being a socialist when accused of such.
Political times and ideological leanings have certainly changed when we see a senior government cabinet minister proudly declaring himself a socialist. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault didn’t beat around the bush in the House of Commons when he said, “I’m a Liberal and a proud socialist” in response to a question from a Conservative MP. Such a statement would have been a potential career-killer for any politician outside of the NDP only a decade ago. Today though, it barely merited the raised eyebrows of political watchers.
Communism and socialism are close cousins, and socialism is often considered a stepping stone toward full communism. It can be used as an incremental approach toward communism rather than the more traditional method of using revolution to get there. Most people understood this, thus socialists in democratic nations typically kept their views in the closet. They don’t appear to be afraid to show their socialist leanings today, however, and we should be concerned.

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