The (not so) New Democratic Party
There's been a lot of animosity in Liberal blogging circles towards the NDP lately. The Liberal leadership candidates (some of them at least) are starting to display a little of their own:
"As Liberals, we know those guys all the way down: high moral principles, and they fight like alley cats,” says Iggy of the NDP's hypocritical pomposity. He continues, "I mean it's the worst combination. We have to go out and say, this high moral principle stuff – give me a break, here. You fight elections in the dirtiest way anybody's ever seen in Canada. Number two is we have to say that we are the progressive social conscience of this country, always have been, always will."
From Ken Dryden: "I would love to get at the NDP. All of those things that are essentially the central components and themes of the NDP beliefs, whether it is Kelowna, or child care, or the environment, all of those things absolutely essential – now we have a government that believes in none of them. Well, thanks a lot, Jack." (Thanks indeed!) He didn't stop there. "And in terms of the next election, when it's clear that one party or the other, the Liberals or the Conservatives, are going to win – how do you explain to a potential NDP voter, how do you persuade one to vote for the NDP when all of those things are central to your beliefs and it's only going to move you in the opposite direction."
I for one got sick of the NDP long ago. Who are these people kidding? They're never going to win power - that's for the Liberals to do. The NDP's purpose has always been forcing the Liberals (and occassionally the Conservatives) to implement at least part of their agenda. And they were enormously successful in this regard. But then they got power-hungry. The much-lauded Ed Broadbent, whom so many lionize as some sort of do-no-wrong saint (Jack Layton most prominently among them), was the most popular leader in 1988. But he blew his chances when he arrogantly stated, flat-out, that his goal was to replace the Liberal Party as the left-of-centre party in Canadian politics. That has been the NDP's raison d'etre ever since. Of course, they haven't come close to this goal since the 80's, and in particular since 1984, when they came within ten seats of surpassing the Liberals in the House of Commons (only because of the Liberals' extraordinarily bad campaign that year.) With their seat count of 29 this past election, (or 74 less than the Liberals) the NDP brass were celebrating... in conjunction with the election of a government that is diametrically opposed to everything they believe. Good work, guys!
The NDP will never surpass the Liberals as Canada's main left-of-centre party, barring some sort of catastrophic blunder by the Liberals (and no, that quite obviously doesn't include some criminals laundering money to themselves.) So it's quite unsurprising to see the kind of sour grapes routinely displayed by, oh, say, Pat Martin. Martin, who has seemingly made it his goal to hammer the Liberals (while never taking similar shots at the Tories - curious, when you consider they are the party most opposed to what his party stands for) has earned my ire, and that of the Liberals, for his Tory-friendly behaviour before.
Reports the Post today, "NDP MP Pat Martin sided with the Conservatives." There's a surprise:
"The Liberals are famous for trying to impregnate every aspect of the country with Liberal brand reminders. I've just about had it with the beatification of Pierre Elliott Trudeau." This coming from the party of Ed "The Second Coming" Broadbent.
Martin is a perfect embodiment of what the official NDP stands for - they have no interest in passing a progressive agenda anymore, they just want to replace the Liberals and gain their own glory. And they don't care how many Conservative governments have to be elected in their vainglorious crusade.