Socialism is dying out in most nations, but it's gaining new life in Canada. The moderately socialist New Democratic Party (NDP) swept to power in elections in British Columbia and Saskatchewan and is poised to score well in the 1993 national elections.

The sweep also puts the NDP, which has ruled Ontario since last year and has long criticized Canada's free-trade accord with the U. S., in power in three provinces whose combined populations are about half of Canada's 26 million. So the NDP will have a pivotal role in the upcoming effort to resolve the constitutional crisis over Quebec--because any changes to the constitution must be approved by provinces representing a majority of Canadians. The NDP, which has alienated Ontario business leaders, wants to enshrine rights to government benefits such as health care in the constitution.

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