It has been interesting watching the New Democrats as they struggle to cope with their much expanded caucus and to spin their various policies and promises into a coherent message. To understand their message, one must realize that, for the Dippers, something need not be morally correct so long as they say it is—and, of course, so long as it’s legal.
So, in the whacky socialist world of the NDP, being a political candidate in a riding never visited before, during or after an election campaign is said to be a good thing, as is taking a vacation during a campaign, living outside the riding, or running in a riding in which one does not speak the language spoken by 98 per cent of the residents.
We’re all meant to feel really great about having under-21s in our House of Commons, and, of course, it’s quite acceptable to publish false education qualifications of Members—when your fraud is discovered, just blame the “error” on a staffer.
Candidates’ ages are an issue as far as their limited life experience is concerned, and, although a few 19- or 20-year-olds as Members of the House are not a problem, I’m not sure I’d want to see any of them in cabinet. And I confess I’m disturbed by the fact they’ll earn more than $630,000 over the next four years, in a job that’s guaranteed, then collect a generous severance if not re-elected.
The NDP’s support for unilingualism in Quebec and bilingualism for the rest of us is meant to be consistent messaging. Their perverse use of this logic leads the Dippers to oppose the nomination to the Supreme Court of Canada of anyone who is not fluently bilingual.
What about the NDP campaigning against HST in British Columbia and for it in Quebec—or, at least, for that province receiving compensation for having implemented it?
Supporting provincial rights in Quebec, but championing strong central government for the rest of us is just another consistent message, or so the Dippers would have us believe. In 2006, the New Democrats held a convention in Quebec City where it adopted as official policy the so-called Déclaration de Sherbrooke. The NDP accepted special status for Quebec, a so called “asymmetrical federalism,” whereby Quebec would exercise powers not available to other provinces:
“The NDP believes that asymmetrical federalism is the best way to consolidate the Canadian federal state with the reality of Quebec’s national character. That means that Quebec has to have specific powers and room for maneuvering.”
How’s this playing in the rest of Canada—Meech Lake accord anyone?
Giving labour leaders a weighted vote and their ordinary-Canadian members a lesser say is the democratic way the Dippers govern themselves. And their socialist roots run deep, make no mistake about that—a hidden agenda?
Does the NDP even believe in one of the pillars of our democracy: representation by population? I doubt they do since Jack Layton proposed, in a letter to Gilles Duceppe, a motion that would see Quebec’s share of seats in the House of Commons remain at a minimum of 25 per cent, regardless of that province’s population.
With an NDP government, what sort of Canada would we have? I shudder to even think about it.