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NDP shoots itself in the foot over the handling of the name-change issue.

So apparently, the NDP Convention “ran out of time” to discuss the question of whether to change the NDP’s name to just the Democratic Party. It wasn’t prioritized as an important issue, and delegates declined to change the order of votes to make it higher priority. So, apparently, it goes off to some committee of the national leadership to consult about (in otherwards, they’ll try to bury it and forget about it).

I’ve had one NDP delegate/blogger, Tyler Kinch, try to argue with me on Facebook that the NDP “spent time debating policies that will bring jobs back to Canada” and prioritized that. Right, but did any of those issues/resolutions […]

NDP name change? How about SDP?

At the upcoming NDP Convention, there seems to be a move afoot to drop the “new” from the NDP’s name and just change it to the Democratic Party. I presume this might be not just a nod to the fact the party isn’t really ‘new” anymore (being as they’ve had the name since 1961), but perhaps trying to get some subliminal good will vibes from their potential namesake in the US, what with President Obama being popular and all.

Not that anyone from the NDP cares what I have to say on the matter, but if you’re going to change your party’s name, why not change it to the SDP […]

OMG! The Liberals are fundraising!!!

NDP MP Chris Charlton needs better talking points then what she used on CTV today.. or the NDP does… because the reaction she gave was utterly hypocritical. (Read more) […]

Sunday Election Campaign Musings. The NDP

A couple of thoughts on the NDP this Sunday AM.

– Danielle posted a blogpiece at her site yesterday challenging Jack Layton’s premise that only he could stop Harper, by asking any NDP blogger/supporter to come up with 100 ridings they think the NDP could win, that would at least propel them to Official Opposition status. So far, responses from NDP partisans have been in short supply. Heck, I’d be even more lenient then Danielle: I’d take a list of 75 ridings the NDP thinks it can win in.

– A rhetorical question on my part: I, like others, am still rather sceptical even in the worst-case scenario for the […]

Conflicting signals and shooting at the wrong target.

Since Blogging a Dead Horse was crowing this morning about how Ipsos-Reid shows somehow that Canadians are sceptical about the Green Shift (a notion that Red Tory by the way refutes rather convincingly over at his blog), I thought it only appropriate to mention the Harris-Decima poll talked about in the Star which shows that Canadians want aggressive action on climate change by a wide margin (and no Mr. Harper, being aggressive doesn’t mean agreeing to non-binding targets).

I’d add that I find that its regrettable that the NDP and its partisans continue to charge at the Liberals Green Shift plan rather then go at the Conservatives, who absolutely have no plan at all to combat climate change. Yet, the NDP supporters attack the Green Shift just as hard the Conservatives do in trying to discredit it.

Apparently, the desire to gain seats at the expense of the Liberals left flank is more important to Jack Laytom and the NDP’s partisans rather then pointing out that all other parties,  despite taking different approaches, have concrete plans and committment to combat climate change, while the Cons. don’t.

Perceptions on the Hill over the Afghanistan positions.

So I was chatting with one of my acquaintances up on the Hill who observes the Parliamentary goings-on for a living, and I asked that person what they made of the Conservatives issuing a press release last evening on Bill C-3 (dealing with the new revised security certificates that the Supreme Court struck down last year), which more or less said the Liberals would be weak on Canadians public safety if they don’t pass the Conservatives version of that bill.  I said it seemed a rather silly move by the PMO to make going after the Liberals when Harper was supposed to be meeting Dion today to try and persuade him to follow his stance on Afghanistan and the Manley Report; I didn’t think it would exactly ease chilly relations with that type of a release.

The response I got from this person was interesting: the opinion given back was that it was that person’s belief that Harper really doesn’t want Dion to agree with him – that he wants to be able to blame Dion and the Liberals for “forcing” him to end the combat mission in Afghanistan, and thus try to neutralize it as an election issue for him.

I said I found that interesting, because of Layton’s press conference yesterday and some NDP bloggers basically now saying to everyone who would listen that Dion was moving closer to Harper’s position (and Layton was being silly I opined, because everyone has predicted, including me, that Dion and the Liberals would never agree to pulling troops out immediately, and that’s been their position for a while).

The reply to that from the observer was equally interesting:  In their opinion, Layton, like Harper  is also playing politics with this issue; the NDP is following their policy of trying to destroy the Liberals in advance of the next election than in — well, pretty much anything else. The opinion ended with the observation that Layton probably would have been horrified if Dion *had* agreed with him.

Take it for what it’s worth, but as I said, it’s from an observer on the Hill… and it means Dion and the Liberals will have to tread very carefully. If the NDP want to end the combat portion of the mission, they will have to quit playing politics (if that is indeed what they’re up to) acknowledge that they and the Liberals have differences on when the combat portion ends, and then ask the Liberals to help defeat the Cons version of wanting to stay.

As for Harper, I don’t trust him more then I can throw him. Dion has made his position clear that the combat portion of this mission will end in 2009 if the Liberals have their way, so I don’t see what Harper will offer to Dion to get him to agree to an extension. If Harper comes out of his meeting with guns ablazing about how the Liberals and Dion are being inflexible or won’t support a Liberal-led panel recommendation, I suspect my observer friend’s opinions on this will be proven right.

Layton making overtures to Dion on Afghanistan position.

Well now, this is an interesting turn of events. Rather then bash the Liberals over their Afghanistan position, Jack Layton and the NDP have decided diplomacy is the better way to go, and are making overtures to Dion and appealing to him to support their opposition to not extend the Afghanistan mission:

NDP Leader Jack Layton made a personal appeal to the federal Liberals on Wednesday, urging them to accept his proposal to put an end to Canada’s military combat mission in Afghanistan. Layton spoke briefly to Liberal Leader Stephane Dion outside the Commons to convince him not to support Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s efforts to extend the mission beyond […]

Going over like a lead balloon.

Three cases of that statement that caught my eye this evening.

First, Harper’s statements on climate change and declaring that Kyoto was ” a mistake” earned him a unanimous disassociation of that statement in the Quebec legislature by all 3 parties. Regardless of what Chantal Hebert opines, I believe Dion should be hammering on that issue everywhere, but particularly in Quebec come next election.

Secondly, and on a related note, the UN issues about as unsubtle a diplomatic rebuke as you can do with regards to Harper and Canada’s position on Climate Change.

Thirdly, the decision by the NDP and Jack Layton to support the Cons. motion on prohibiting veiled voters from casting ballots has enraged traditional NDP supporting bloggers, and unaffiliated blogs on the progressive left who are normally sympathetic to the NDP today, although with the NDP’s view on blogging regarding it as  the black sheep of the family, one wonders what if any effect it will have, or if anyone in NDP HQ even notices the discomfiture this has caused amongst their normally very loyal supporters.

Liberal and Con. blogs and the netroots for those parties may have no more influence on their respective parties, but we do know they get read up on the Hill by the MP’s and staffers. I’m not sure the same can be said of the NDP MP’s and staffers for the NDP bloggers, whose party seems to treat the venue and those who use it as pariahs. Perhaps the better way to get their attention is to get the media notice their rumblings, like say, Kady O’Mally, who wrote today wondering who exactly came up with this strategy to vote for this in the NDP backroom. People like her and others in the media could make a few NDP’ers rather uncomfortable when its pointed out to them that their netroots/grassroots supporters aren’t too happy about this.

And I support their stance, by the way. How can we have a problem with MAYBE a few hundred veiled voters, when we have thousands of Canadians sending in absentee mail-in ballots who apparently are just fine and dandy and we have no problem trusting who they are? The appearance of fearmongering against Muslims is way too obvious here.

Would Jack snub May?

I wouldn’t put it past him to stand her up, even if it was a charity dinner that May won fair and square. He claims to be the leader of the party that stands up for working families, the common person, a party of progressive values, and the only real opposition to Harper, yet he goes out of his way to shun and attack the other parties with progressive elements in them who are also in opposition to Harper.

Why would he do this? The fact of the matter is: Jack is looking out what’s best for him and the NDP with regards to seats and in particular increasing his […]

Canada’s Dept of National Defence wrote Afghan President’s speech?

If the NDP’s documents that they obtained through the Freedom Of Information Act are correct, it appears the Department of National Defence wrote up Afghan President Karzai’s speech to Parliament last year:

The party’s defence critic, Dawn Black, says the papers indicate Karzai’s address was an “elaborately staged political stunt.” Black held a news conference today to release access-to-information documents that suggest a team of military advisers prepared an initial draft of Karzai’s speech, delivered on Sept. 22, 2006. She quoted a situation report from Task Force Afghanistan as saying: “Team prepared initial draft of President (Karzai’s) address to Parliament 22 Sep.”

It’s one thing for the Canadian military […]

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