Staples had an interesting seat to see it too. Turns out that he and others acted as go-betweens between the Liberals and NDP to craft a better motion, but the Liberals wouldn't play ball. They were more interested in politics than having their motion pass. Staples writes on his blog:
"The Liberal motion was uncritical of the military mission and supported its continuance unchanged . . . We urged the Liberals to make a small amendment to their motion in order to win NDP support, and Former UN Ambassador for Disarmament Peggy Mason actually suggested specific changes to the language that would likely have been palatable to both Liberals and the NDP. We sent the suggestions to every Liberal and NDP Member of Parliament. The NDP even proposed an amendment during the debate, but the Liberals rejected it."
This just in: So, the NDP has tabled it's own motion today to notify NATO that Canadian troops will be withdrawn as soon as possible, not in 2009. Any credibility the Liberals had on opposing the ill-defined mission goes out the door if they vote with Harper.
The motion reads:
(1) all Members of this House, whatever their disagreements about the mission in Afghanistan, support the courageous men and women of the Canadian Forces;
(2) the government has admitted that the situation in Afghanistan can not be won militarily;
(3) the current counter-insurgency mission is not the right mission for Canada;
(4) the government has neither defined what ‘victory’ would be, nor developed an exit strategy from this counter-insurgency mission;
therefore this House condemns this government and calls for it to immediately notify NATO of our intention to begin withdrawing Canadian Forces now in a safe and secure manner from the counter-insurgency mission in Afghanistan; and calls for Canada to focus its efforts to assist the people of Afghanistan on a diplomatic solution, and re-double its commitment to reconstruction and development.