"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.