Coming from anyone but Murray Dobbin, this might have New Democrats up in arms, howling with indignation. The decidedly progressive journalist, contributor to The Tyee and Rabble, diagnoses just what the Mulcair NDP could be about to inflict on Canada - the end of our progressive hopes.
Unless something changes, come election time there will be two battles: the Harper Conservatives will be running to win, and the NDP and Liberals will be fighting their own private war. It is a recipe for disaster for the country.
The conversations that lead the NDP to this apparent abandonment of the country's best interests clearly take place strictly within the confines of the party bureaucracy. Because if the party's brainiacs actually talked to its supporters, members and progressive Canadians in general, it would know just how terrified people are of the prospect of another Harper majority.
The divide between the NDP leadership's thinking and the political sentiment of its potential supporters has never been greater. This disturbing disconnect suggests that unlike the majority of Canadians who are almost paralyzed by fear and loathing regarding the future of their country, those who run the NDP simply aren't driven by the same fear. Effectively, they care more about their party than they do about their country. It begs the question of whether a progressive party can even make a legitimate claim to the title if the people who run it actually care less about their country than the average citizen does.
...These are decidedly not normal times. For the first time in our history we actually have a government that is committed to dismantling the best aspects of our country.
That cries out for an extraordinary response. And if the NDP can't propose an accord of some kind based on principle (let's see if the Liberals have the jam to refuse) then why not do it based on opportunism? It would hardly be a departure given its myriad compromises over the years (and its opportunistic defeat of the Liberals in 2006, handing Harper power). Oddly, the NDP claims to want power yet demonstrates with its intransigence on co-operation with the Liberals that it is not actually serious.
It is obvious to all progressive Canadians that if either the Liberals or the Conservatives win a majority the country is in deep trouble. The Liberals will not commit themselves to reversing all the damage done by Harper. They are interested in power for the sake of it and would happily administer the status quo inherited from the Conservatives.
Dobbin's remarks raise an important, albeit tangential question. Is there any room for progressives within the Liberal tent as it stands today? If there is, I can't see it. In my view, Liberal progressivism is a hollow affectation. That Liberal Party is a thing of the past and there's neither the interest or will to resurrect it. Today's Liberal Party under Justin is not the Liberal Party of Pierre. It's a diminished thing, dried up and technocratic.
What I'd like to see is a Liberal-NDP coalition just strong enough to bring in some form of proportional representation. One term, that's all we would need. After that they can go at each other hammer and tong while the rest of us can bring the Green Party to a position of effective influence.