Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Memo to Jack Layton

It's an open secret that New Democrats are furious that Liberal leadership loser Gerard Kennedy is running against NDP incumbent Peggy Nash in her Parkdale-High Park riding in the upcoming federal election. Why are they so angry?

1. Kennedy, a former provincial cabinet minister and MPP for Parkdale-High Park, is considered a star candidate and the likely victor in a race against Nash.

2. Nash is considered a rising star within the NDP.

3. Dion keeps touting how important it is to elect more women to parliament, but seems bent on defeating an incumbent female MP rather than run Kennedy in another, more Liberal-friendly riding in the GTA.

4. Liberals go on and on about how the the Harper Conservatives are the real enemy, and yet, rather than use Kennedy's star power to take on a Tory incumbent, they decided to run him against one of the most progressive NDP incumbents in the House.

Although I think the NDP is naive to think the Liberals would simply give Nash, or any other NDP incumbent a free ride, Jack Layton is right that Liberals are being hypocritical in their rhetoric by having Kennedy run against Nash. That said, the NDP is certainly not above hyporcrisy.

Case in point.

The NDP has made a big deal of the fact that labour leader Jean-Claude Rocheleau will be running for the party in the Montreal riding of Hochelaga. Hochelaga is currently represented by BQ MP Réal Ménard. Ménard is one of Canada's first openly gay MPs, he has an extremely progressive voting record and has been an outspoken advocate on anti-poverty issues. He may be the most left-wing member of the BQ caucus... so why is the NDP targeting Ménard?


Joffré said...

Well, he voted twice for Conservative budgets, and voted once against the NDP budget, so he (and the rest of the Bloc) can't realistically claim the mantle of progressivism.

Greg said...

My guess? I would say because he is a separatist.

Northern BC Dipper said...

...so why is the NDP targeting Ménard?

Uh, try the fact that he is part of a political party that wants to break up the country.

uncorrectedproofs said...

Two points...

1. Many New Democrats in Quebec are separatists. Even Pierre Ducasse voted OUI in 1995. Since when is a sovereignist worse than a Conservative?

2. As for progressivism, the NDP certainly doesn't have a monopoly in that regard. The party's only Quebec MP supported anti-union legislation while in Jean Charest's cabinet and three Ontario NDP MPs voted in favour of Bob Rae's infamous anti-union Social Contract Act while serving as NDP MPPs.

Joffré said...

Regardless of what they supported (or had to support) at the provincial level, I trust the NDP to put progressivism over political expediency much more than I do the Bloc.
Besides, there are very few seats in Québec where the NDP has a chance and the sitting member can't claim to have progressive bona fides.

malpeque said...

When one reads your topic and subsequent response to reasonable
comments it almost appears you're conducting oppostion research on a
party you claim to support.

Is relentlessly slagging the NDP the new winning strategy? Lib and tory bloggers must admire your handiwork. How strange.

uncorrectedproofs said...

Malpeque, what I dislike the most about party politics is the level of hypocrisy. I'm not a hack for any party, but I do expect more from the NDP.

Back said...

I don't think uncorrectedproofs is doing work for the other parties but rather is in his own way trying to hold the NDP to that higher expectation. By not being within the party structure is free to call it like he sees it.