PM and Ignatieff 'saved the NDP from itself'
Special to The Globe and Mail, Wednesday, Jun. 24, 2009 04:46PM EDT
How do you know politicians aren't telling the truth? Well, the old maxim has never worked better: Their lips are moving.
One caveat, of course. Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff meant it when they said they didn't want an election, and both used every opportunistic trick in the book to make sure one would not happen. Otherwise, both Pinocchio'd their way through the last several months, one of the more demoralizingly vacuous periods in recent history. The government did almost nothing constructive and the Official Opposition offered almost no alternatives, with many media reporting their most fatuous spins at face value. Poor Canada.
But they saved the NDP from itself. Jack Layton had boxed himself into the tightest of corners, going nowhere fast. He and a few self-loving communication types who now seem to run the NDP, with nary a piece of substance to be found, are sighing sighs of relief. The NDP is in no better shape to fight a campaign than the Liberals, and everyone knows it. But both parties routinely assert the opposite.
The NDP will hold a big national convention where the only faux-excitement will be an elite-led attempt to change the name to the Democratic Party. To this fine state has the party of Tommy Douglas and David Lewis descended, at a time of multiple crises with the democratic left virtually moribund. No new public policy ideas will be introduced.
Bereft of both cash and ideas, like social democrats everywhere, the NDP is in big trouble. Firing some senior staff would be a good start for a party whose relevance is increasingly marginal. Sad times.
What the hell is up with Caplan?!?!