Message To The NDP

July 10 2004
The message from the NDP is, “Canadians voted for change.  Millions voted NDP for change that puts working Canadians at the front of the line.”  The very opposite is true. The soft Liberal vote went to the NDP to defeat Conservatives and give the Liberals a chance to stay in power or to keep the Conservatives from winning a majority. In other words the fickle Liberal vote went to the NDP to prevent change. This can hardly be reassuring for the NDP.
Jack Layton missed a great opportunity to clearly set his party apart from both the Liberals and the Conservatives and give the NDP a real chance to be the official opposition after the next general election.
Jack gave the same response to every question.  He asked us to give him more seats in the House of Commons so he could squeeze more goodies out of whomever we elect. “Park your vote with us just this one time because the Liberals need a time out,” he said.   What will his slogan be in the next election?  Vote for the Liberals, they’ve learned their lesson?
In the first English debate each leader was asked how he saw Canada fifty years from now. Jack, like the other leaders, answered with platitudes.  There must have been thousands of progressive viewers sitting on the edge of their chairs, as I was, waiting for Jack to say we are not going to have a country twenty years from now if things keep going the way they are.   There is tremendous pressure on Canada to harmonize our economy with the US economy but this was never seen as a major issue by the NDP.  Oh sure, Jack threw out the line from time to time that he was not going to follow the George Bush agenda.  He pointed out his opposition to the invasion of Iraq and to putting weapons in space, but I never heard him expand on it.   Even so, the point is, these two issues don’t set him apart from the Liberals.
Another big issue that would have staked out territory in bold relief from both the Liberals and the Conservatives is Canada’s illegal invasions of Haiti and Afghanistan. NDP foreign affairs critic Alexa McDonough voiced her opposition to both these misadventures in the House of Commons.  Why was it important enough to rise in the House where it got little notice or media coverage but not important enough to make it an election issue? It is hard to believe that Canada (with France and the USA) overthrew a democratic government in Feb., 2004 and the NDP did not make it a major issue in the election.  Many times during the election Paul Martin said he was going to have an independent foreign policy. Jack never challenged him to explain how he could say that and still justify his role in the overthrow of the legitimate government of Haiti.
How would Harper have responded? We will never know.
There has been a conspiracy of silence by the Canadian news media to keep Canadians from being outraged by what Canada is doing in Haiti.  Jack could have exposed the duplicity of Martin and his zeal for helping the USA make the world safe for dictatorships, but he never did. The Liberal government was applauded more than once for not sending troops to Iraq. And yet, here we are sending more Canadians to Afghanistan which will have the effect of freeing up American troops to go to Iraq.  If the NDP is not willing to expose the hypocrisy of the Martin government, who will?
The NDP still has a chance to turn things around.  It can raise these issues every day in the House of Commons and across the land.   It must fight to make Canada a free and independent country.  It must demand that Canadian troops be withdrawn from Haiti and Afghanistan.  Public opinion would be solidly behind it if the NDP were to take the lead.     We can’t wait until more body bags show up on Canada’s shore.
Anything less and the NDP will soon be remembered as a feckless experiment in the misty past.

July 10 2004

The message from the NDP is, “Canadians voted for change.  Millions voted NDP for change that puts working Canadians at the front of the line.”  The very opposite is true. The soft Liberal vote went to the NDP to defeat Conservatives and give the Liberals a chance to stay in power or to keep the Conservatives from winning a majority. In other words the fickle Liberal vote went to the NDP to prevent change. This can hardly be reassuring for the NDP.

Jack Layton missed a great opportunity to clearly set his party apart from both the Liberals and the Conservatives and give the NDP a real chance to be the official opposition after the next general election.

Jack gave the same response to every question.  He asked us to give him more seats in the House of Commons so he could squeeze more goodies out of whomever we elect. “Park your vote with us just this one time because the Liberals need a time out,” he said.   What will his slogan be in the next election?  Vote for the Liberals, they’ve learned their lesson?

In the first English debate each leader was asked how he saw Canada fifty years from now. Jack, like the other leaders, answered with platitudes.  There must have been thousands of progressive viewers sitting on the edge of their chairs, as I was, waiting for Jack to say we are not going to have a country twenty years from now if things keep going the way they are.   There is tremendous pressure on Canada to harmonize our economy with the US economy but this was never seen as a major issue by the NDP.  Oh sure, Jack threw out the line from time to time that he was not going to follow the George Bush agenda.  He pointed out his opposition to the invasion of Iraq and to putting weapons in space, but I never heard him expand on it.   Even so, the point is, these two issues don’t set him apart from the Liberals.

Another big issue that would have staked out territory in bold relief from both the Liberals and the Conservatives is Canada’s illegal invasions of Haiti and Afghanistan. NDP foreign affairs critic Alexa McDonough voiced her opposition to both these misadventures in the House of Commons.  Why was it important enough to rise in the House where it got little notice or media coverage but not important enough to make it an election issue? It is hard to believe that Canada (with France and the USA) overthrew a democratic government in Feb., 2004 and the NDP did not make it a major issue in the election.  Many times during the election Paul Martin said he was going to have an independent foreign policy. Jack never challenged him to explain how he could say that and still justify his role in the overthrow of the legitimate government of Haiti.

How would Harper have responded? We will never know.

There has been a conspiracy of silence by the Canadian news media to keep Canadians from being outraged by what Canada is doing in Haiti.  Jack could have exposed the duplicity of Martin and his zeal for helping the USA make the world safe for dictatorships, but he never did. The Liberal government was applauded more than once for not sending troops to Iraq. And yet, here we are sending more Canadians to Afghanistan which will have the effect of freeing up American troops to go to Iraq.  If the NDP is not willing to expose the hypocrisy of the Martin government, who will?

The NDP still has a chance to turn things around.  It can raise these issues every day in the House of Commons and across the land.   It must fight to make Canada a free and independent country.  It must demand that Canadian troops be withdrawn from Haiti and Afghanistan.  Public opinion would be solidly behind it if the NDP were to take the lead.     We can’t wait until more body bags show up on Canada’s shore.

Anything less and the NDP will soon be remembered as a feckless experiment in the misty past.

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