But following the NDP budget amendment, that appears to be changing in these minority parliaments.
The party's latest victory is the new environment bill that has emerged from the ashes of Stephen Harper's "Clean Air Act" (bill C-30). The bill is everything Jack Layton said it would be: the NDP got no fewer than 11 of its 12 amendments adopted in this new bill.
The NDP took a lot of heat for calling for this bill to be rewritten in an all-party committee. Mostly from Liberals who claimed the NDP was a bit player in "the vast right-wing conspiracy." Chief among the flames thrown was Michael Ignatieff's over-the-top rant to the Toronto Star in which he famously declared:
There's something nauseating going on which Canadians have to notice," Ignatieff told the Star. "Layton gets up and pretends to oppose a government that he's propping up. He's got to decide what the hell he's doing here.Nauseating indeed and as evidenced by today's result, totally baseless.
But where the slinging of political heat has become far too common in politics, cleaning up the environment has become totally uncommon.
Here's to Jack Layton and Nathan Cullen for showing some leadership, and the other parties for coming to the table.