Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Shooting themselves in the foot 

Dana at Galloping Beaver has posted Why I Quit The NDP -- an excellent post which explains a lot of the problems I have seen with Jack Layton's NDP.
I couldn't understand it last fall, why Layton would suddely become so bitterly opposed to Paul Martin's Liberals, especially when they were finally seeing the development of a national NDP-oriented agenda, in particular the national day-care program, the Kelowna accords with Aboriginal people, housing programs, and the Kyoto implementation. Did Jack think Canadians would actually thank him for screwing this up? Harper will abandon all of these initiatives as quickly as he can.
Dana's post explains the NPD's delusions -- they think they can wipe the Liberals off the map and take over as Canada's "progressive" party. Dana writes:
. . . The Harper Conservatives pose significant enough perils to the future well being of this country that foolish hubris and bravado like Pat Martin’s or narrow partisan triangulation like Jack Layton’s have no place . . . Harper hates the press, the eyes and ears of the people . . . Harper is as contemptuous of those who expected he would be a politician to keep his campaign promises as he is of those who did not expect he would. Harper has constructed his centrepiece Accountability Act in order to give himself cover for his Defence Minister, who himself appears to want nothing more than to emulate Donald Rumsfeld. Harper’s centralization of power in his own office is in near diametric opposition to what he has led us to believe his governing style would be. His aping of the tactics of the Bush Republicans are now fully exposed and we can expect more, including the rhetorical contortions and protestations of the Bush-lite Harper fanatics . . .
This is the crowd that . . . the NDP caucus wants to legitimize in order that they can exercise their delusion that they have the electoral clout to remove the Liberals from the board. Jack, I will not participate.
The Liberals disappeared in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan 10 years ago not because of anything the NDP or even the Conservatives did. It was because of the gun registry.
Eastern Canada has never appreciated the depth of western anger over the registry, I don't think. The Liberal vote in the west has not disappeared, but in many previously Liberal western ridings the margins were slim enough to begin with that the anger over the registry waw enough to eliminate Liberal MPs. Without MPs for a decade, the constituency organizations also deteroirate.
But Liberal fortunes will begin to rise again in the West as soon as the Conservatives dump the registry -- provided the new Liberal leader doesn't indicate he would reintroduce it, a safe bet, I think.
The western vote didn't go to the NDP this election, and won't go there in the future either -- even those western voters who support the NDP provincially don't want a Toronto alderman in charge of the Wheat Board.

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