Liberal MPs should take note, this is what effective opposition looks like.
Despite what Stephane Dion might tell Liberal MPs, opposition parties are supposed get their ideas on the agenda, not roll over and have the government get its way like Liberals have of late
The unelected, unaccountable Senate is at best a money wasting anachronism, and at worst a national and international embarrassment for Canada.
Its abolition is a longstanding policy of the NDP, going back to the origins of the party in the CCF. Frustrated by the slow pace of his reforms, Harper appears to have wisely decided that it's an idea whose day has come.
Lately to distract from their absent opposition to Harper, Liberal MPs have derided the NDP as being “holier than thou,” the implication being that NDP principles are just as optional as Liberal ones.
But the NDP position on the Senate is an example of how the NDP has stood steadfast on its principles, despite the sometimes personal cost of doing so.
Over the years, Liberal and Conservative prime ministers have dangled the temptation of a patronage-for-life Senate gig in front of NDP MPs and provincial politicians. All would have been qualified for the job. And all would have had greater security, income, pensions and perks had they taken it. But every New Democrat remained loyal to their party and principles and turned it down flat.
Courageously sticking to principle has come at great cost: leaving public life for potential obscurity, and even resulting in the NDP having to distance itself from a respected aboriginal activist and educator who today sits as an unrecognized New Democrat in the Senate.
It shows how hollow the Liberals’ mockery really is.
The real question is to the 94 remaining Liberal MPs: will they finally join the rest of us in the 21st Century and support abolishing the Senate, or are they just too wedded to the $80 million patronage pork-house?