Friday, February 15, 2008

NDP calls for "a new coalition" to take on Harper

Stephane Dion's listless capitulation to grant the Conservatives the means to extend the Afghanistan mission for another two years has, as Chantal Hebert notes today, once and for all cast today's Liberals as mere bit players in Stephen Harper's agenda and surrendered whatever progressive credentials they once clung to:

"Harper may be the main beneficiary of Dion's decision but Jack Layton comes a close second. For as long as he has been NDP leader, he has looked for a defining issue to set himself apart from the Liberals. This week's Afghan developments will go some way to insulate NDP support from Liberal attempts to rally progressive voters against the Conservatives in the next election."

Sensing the disappointment of grassroots Liberals, the NDP is now setting out to build.

In an open letter posted to their website, party president Anne McGrath has extended the party's hand to build "a new political coalition" of New Democrats and Liberal supporters who remain opposed to Stephen Harper's agenda:

"I’m making an extraordinary appeal to all New Democrat supporters to invite their Liberal friends to join our party right now -- the only national party not in favour of two more years of war and the only national party standing up to Stephen Harper’s agenda.

Just like we did nearly 50 years ago when we formed the NDP, it’s time to build a new political coalition in Canada -- a coalition that will stand up to Stephen Harper and put forward a vision of prosperity, fairness and peace in the world."

It wasn't long ago that Dion was using the language of "coalition" to describe his accord with Elizabeth May and the rump of the Progressive Canadian party. The irony now of course, is that building a coalition around the Liberal Party to defeat Harper is tantamount to building a coalition around McDonalds to defeat juvenile obesity.

8 comments:

Kephalos said...

I'm very disappointed that Pat Martin and the NDP will vote with the Harper Tories for an early end of the Mulroney Airbus Settlement.

Why is it that when a Tory lies to a committee of Parliament, the NDP closes ranks with the Tories?

j said...

It's easy for a party to grandstand when they have no chance of governing.

Taking advantage of this political situation does nothing but hand Harper another victory.

This kind of NDP political opportunism is despicable.

northwestern_lad said...

kephalos... the Liberals are also voting to move this to a public inquiry... the only way this issue dies is if Harper kills it, and I don't think it will look very good on him if he doesn't let this go to a public inquiry.

j.... every party has a chance of governing, just to different degrees. The only part that is handing Harper anything is the Liberals... They are the party that has been abstaining for the past 5 months on just about everything, and now they are supporting Harper on Afghanistan... That's no ones fault but their own. If you call standing on principal political opportunism, I would suggest you truly don't know the meaning of the term.

ch said...

What is the difference between this and the last "lend us your votes" campaign and why do you call this a "new coalition"? A real coalition has the parties working together, not just an appeal for people to vote for them instead of some other party.

Greg said...

What is the difference between this and the last "lend us your votes" campaign and why do you call this a "new coalition"? A real coalition has the parties working together, not just an appeal for people to vote for them instead of some other party.

Of course you are right. That's why Dion and May's "coalition" is a farce, too. It is a bald appeal to greens to vote Liberal. What we need is electoral reform and we need it now.

MAW said...

The whole move smells of desparation. One thing for sure, neither Dion or Jack Layton will be prime minister of Canada anytime soon no matter how hard they try. Do these two not realize that almost 80% of Canadians don't want an election and are happy to have Stephen Harper finish the mandate he was elected to do.

Sean S. said...

Harper was elected with a minority government, therefore, his mandate is to govern in consultation with one or more of the Opposition parties. Something we can all safely say he hasn't done.

"This kind of NDP political opportunism is despicable"....high and mighty words, but not really grounded in reality.

Blogging Horse said...

Good point Sean.

How is it opportunistic for McGrath to call out to people who oppose Harper to join the one party that has consistantly stood up to him?

After months of abstaining, walking-out on votes, taking marshmallow positions on issues and and now caving to Harper on the central issue of the war, the Liberals have abandoned their centre-left supporters.

It's only decent that the NDP should offer them a home.