Monday, February 13, 2006

Party Lines Crossed

Jack Layton couldn't run fast enough from Buzz Hargrove during the election campaign. Now he can't run fast enough to him:

NDP Leader Jack Layton said he doesn't agree with a decision by the party's Ontario wing to revoke union leader Buzz Hargrove's membership.

The party said Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, violated its constitution by endorsing certain Liberal candidates in last month's federal election.

"Well, it wouldn't have been a course of action I would have pursued because I tend to be looking forward in terms of building the party and the voice in Canada," Layton told reporters Monday.

"So it wouldn't have been my preferred course of action. My focus is always on the positive," he said.

I didn't think that endorsing the Liberals did anything to build the NDP, but then Jack Layton must be a far more superior political strategist than I. Months of propping up the Liberals for a few extra billion dollars for social programs helped the NDP surge from 19 to 29 seats, while bringing them no closer to breaking off the Liberals' left wing.

Buzz Hargrove has done more damage to the NDP than Layton could ever hope to cause, and gotten even less for it in return. Jack Layton should be jumping for joy that the Ontario NDP got rid of one of his biggest problems for him instead of forcing him to take Buzz out.

Meanwhile, David Emerson has hinted that he might favour a ban on crossing the floor for thee, but not for me:

"I'm not opposed to a byelection,'' he said Monday during an appearance on Vancouver radio station CKNW's Bill Good open-line show. "All I'm saying is let's have a set of rules that applies to everyone.

"If Parliament wants to pass legislation and to set in place a policy on byelections when you cross the floor or recall legislation, fine.

"I'll participate in that debate and I may even vote for it, and I will certainly abide by it.''

On Monday, New Democrat MP Peter Stoffer said he would reintroduce a private member's bill requiring a byelection for party switchers.

How noble. He can show his support for the very principle he's broken without having to actually do anything to uphold it. Or technically hasn't broken, since it hasn't been established, and it won't be made retroactive.

Better for Emerson to keep his head down and working on the softwood lumber file. He'll need to deliver a near-perfect deal if he has any hope of silencing his critics for crossing the floor.

If he doesn't, the last remaining justification for his defection will be voided, and everyone will be screaming for his head because he failed to deliver. And Stephen Harper will gladly give it to them, on a platter, to save his own.

1 comment:

TheTorontoTory said...

Buzz has done damage to them but is their biggest contributor. The Tories in Toronto is the largest group of conservative bloggers there is. Come join today! Consider this your invitation!