Jack Layton’s NDP are showing growing momentum in the fight against Harper.
Layton’s decisive leadership has made his party the most effective opposition to Harper – extracting concessions from the government, just like they did from the Martin minority government, while offering principled opposition to Harper. Reporter Rob Russo provided some evidence of the NDP’s increased stature, from the parliamentary press gallery’s perspective on CBC’s “Politics” on Friday:
“We have a much more vigorous NDP this last week -- the last couple of weeks actually. They did some very smart things the week before this one in terms of bargaining with the government on some speedy passage of legislation the government wanted through. They said ‘sure we'll do that if you give us the $100 million on social spending that was supposed to be spent a couple of budgets ago’ and they won that. And they're showing that they can be effective in opposition and you heard it over and over again this week: ‘These guys rolled over. We're going to be scoring points for you’.”
Secondly, the party reported yet another successful third quarter of fundraising. In line with this, Layton announced this weekend that the NDP plans to fight Harper with its biggest campaign ever – up to the maximum that parties can spend in an election. So, for the first time in history, the NDP will be matching Harper dollar for dollar, leaflet for leaflet, and ad for ad.
This announcement came as the NDP is in Winnipeg meeting with officials from Gary Doer’s very popular third term government.
The message of all this is tough to miss: both inside and outside the Commons, the NDP is out to become Stephen Harper’s greatest threat.