Friday, October 10, 2008

The ghost of Tommy Douglas stalks the NDP

I have hesitated posting this for several weeks since it seemed a bit confrontational and angry but the glee with which several NDP bloggers have joined in the Conservative entrapment of Dion with a bogus question has made me re-think my aversion to this.

The polls seem to be indicating an historic rise in NDP. This appears to be mainly at the expense of the Liberals. Perhaps the NDP might replace the Liberals as the Official Opposition. Not likely. Less likely (next to impossible) Jack Layton might become Prime Minister.

First off. Congratulations to the die-hard Dippers and Greeners. You have dedicated yourselves to a cause you believe in and can be proud of success. Deservedly so perhaps. A lot of your policies are in line with what Canadians want. I recall an online quiz from 2006 which asked people for their thoughts on various issues without identifying what the different parties platform said on the subject. If I recall the results correctly, the NDP platform best reflected the wishes of a majority of Canadians. An increase in NDP support may very well be the best way to move Canada in a more progressive direction. Move the centre to the left as it were.

But the way in which this came about raises some questions. I have been reading a lot of posts gloating about the demise of the Liberals.

If the NDP/Green success means a Harper government, is this not a Pyrrhic victory? Is having Jack Layton assume the title of Leader of the Official Opposition and moving into Stornoway worth the destruction of the Canada we know and love?

Perhaps you would agree that this increase in popularity is due to the perceived performance of Stephan Dion? The Not A Leader ads seemed to have worked. Where was the NDP during the last two years on this? As Edmund Burke said:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Would Tommy Douglas have let this sort of slur gone unchallenged? Jack Layton was more than willing to let this happen and reap the benefits. Even though it was the leader of a different political party, I have a hard time thinking that Ed Broadbent or Stephen Lewis would have allowed this sort of character assassination go unchecked. How does it feel to be Harper's useful idiots?

It is not a result of reaching out to the kitchen tables. Layton has depended on the same manufactured events that Harper has. It may be fooling an additional 8% of the people but this will not make Jack the Leader of the Opposition.

This is not a call to abandon the party for the Liberals. This election will unfold as it will. Canada may fail. It will happen eventually and maybe October 14th is the day it starts. I do know that there is a cost to success. Perhaps being in the centre makes it harder to maintain your political principles. Maybe this is part of the reason the Liberals were never as liberal in office as they were on the campaign trail.

And trust me. If I thought Layton would form the next government and rid us of Harper, I would vote NDP.

Founding members of the Reform Party expressed similar concerns with their movement. Stephen Harper has eliminated the grassroots nature of the party and made it his own fiefdom. Is this the cost of success?

If you have a comment, please don't talk about "43 absentions" or other NDP/Conservative talking points. There is always a price to success. And the piper has to be paid. Even a former campaign strategist has pointed out that the confidence votes used by Harper were a betrayal of Commons traditions.

When he retired from active politics, Tommy Douglas accepted a position in the HofC staff so that he could make sure that the institution he loved would be maintained. He must be spinning in his grave to think that the inheritors of his legacy were complicit in this destruction of House rules.

So a simple question to the NDP.

You have sacrificed your heritage and principles so Jack Layton has a shot at moving into Stornoway.Has it have been worth it?Recommend this Post

No comments: