The New Democratic Party leadership race dramatizes the need in Canada for a strong centralist political party to emerge to counter Stephen Harper's right wing agendas.
by Tom Thorne
When Ed Broadbent, former New Democratic Party (NDP) leader and party guru, attacked Thomas Mulcair the alleged front runner in the NDP leadership race, Broadbent's misguided actions dramatized a major need in Canadian politics. That need is for a centralist political expression to counter the Harper Conservatives.
As much as I respect Ed Broadbent he is simply wrong if he thinks that the NDP can maintain a separate stance from others who express progressive policies in this country.
Think about it. Thomas Mulcair expresses a more centralist agenda for the NDP. Ed Broadbent and his candidate Brian Topp represent the NDP status quo. I've got news for the NDP, had Jack Layton lived would have also faced this issue.
With the Liberal Party on the back burner, there is no strong parliamentary force to counter the Harper agenda, although Bob Rae as interim Liberal leader is proving a good foil for Harper government excesses. But it is not enough.
Earlier in this blog about the time of the last election and Jack Layton's unfortunate death, I stated quite clearly that a merger of the Liberal Party and the NDP was inevitable. If that doesn't happen both these parties will dissolve into bowl of red and orange Jello unless a new centralist party springs up to fill the void.
The reason this doesn't happen between the NDP and Liberals is simply baggage from the past gets in the way. It may take another election and another Harper win with only 38 percent of the popular vote, for the so called left and the centre to get their acts together to oppose and replace the Harper right wing agenda.
By the time this happens Harper will have put his conservative stamp on Canada and it will be difficult to undo this move to the right for some time. That is why the Liberals and NDP have to forge first an alliance in this parliament and ultimately a new political entity that is clearly the enemy of right wing agendas before the next federal election. That would place Harper on notice.
And what are these right wing agendas that need to be opposed? More attention to privilege, more tax breaks for corporations, more doctrinaire approaches to labour settlements which are basically anti union. There will be more prisons and more prisoners serving more time. Guns will go uncontrolled. Social programs for an aging population will be whittled down, Canada on the international stage will remain the laughing stock on human rights, aid, and the environment.
That is the price for supporting separate NDP and Liberal parties. It is clearly time for Canadians to recognize that politics has been polarized in this country and to establish a vital political balance the centralist option has to have a fighting chance at the polls in the next federal election.
Thomas Mulcair may take a reluctant NDP struggling and kicking towards the centre and that is what the Laurier Street head office NDP establishment fears most. Canadians should have anxiety about this doctrinaire view by the left because it will leave Canada with right wing view of this country.
© Copyright 2012, Tom Thorne, All Rights Reserved