The holiday spirits seem to have finally cleared our collective bloodstream and it's back to the old nonsense. Stuff like pathetic pleas from Dippers who can't think of anything else but for the Libs to admit they're whipped, fold their tent and submit themselves to their new masters, the New Democrats.
They may or may not believe it themselves but they argue that their modest 2nd place victory last year justifies Canada becoming a two-party state, the better to take down the Awful Harper.
Now I know how riled up you Dippers can get if someone says anything
Jack knew everything he needed to about the Awful Harper well before the last election and, unless Jack was as dumb as horse dung, he also knew the danger a Harper majority would pose to Canada.
To Dippers, Jack is the Moses who led them out of the desert. To me, Jack is the jackal who smelled the scent of decay coming off the last Liberal leader, saw his opportunity, and pounced on the Libs to take their spot even if it meant a Harper majority. I know you don't like to hear that. I don't care. Not a bit.
Your problem is that your Prophet made it out of the desert only to die just as he reached the oasis. The last election was Jack Layton's victory far more than it was the NDP's. A lot of people voted NDP for two reasons - they were fed up and they were impressed enough by Jack's leadership in a miserable leadership vacuum.
Another problem, just one of several, is that the NDP's second-place finish was based on the transformation of the party into a Quebec-dominated caucus. Your party achieved a breakthrough in Quebec where voters can be notoriously fickle. You've got a long way to go before you can claim those seats will remain yours in the next election which, I suspect, is why you're focusing on siphoning off Liberal supporters today.
As Rick Salutin recently noted, the Left in Canada is dead. The NDP has become the very thing they once reviled, a party of the centre. They despised the Liberals so much they couldn't wait to become a liberal party the moment they got a faint whiff of power. You not only gave Harper the leg up he needed to snatch his majority, you've also been immeasurably helpful in his prime quest to shift the political centre of Canada far to the Right. The Liberals and the NDP, hand in hand, directly helped Harper move Canada to a place where the forces of corporatism run far more freely than ever.
Yet another problem is your party's underwhelming performance over the past six months. I spoke with an old Prog-Conservative buddy at Christmas, a veteran Ottawa backroom insider. He's not particularly fond of Harper but he said the Awful Harper is acting like there's no opposition because there is none. The Official Opposition, he noted, is a hopelessly amateurish farce. From everything I've seen, he's totally right on that score.
So I'm sorry Dippers. This time that scent of decay is coming off you and far faster than I would have imagined. Does that mean I'm going back to the Libs? Hardly. They've got a long way to go before I'll vote for them again. What it means, for me, is that opposing the Awful Harper is something much too important to entrust to the opposition parties. Harper is effectively unopposed within Parliament and that's not going to change for another four and a half years thanks to Jack.
Harper doesn't fear the opposition but he does fear the Canadian public and he does fear his own caucus should he run afoul of the voting public. Harper doesn't govern by consensus, not even within his cabinet. He governs like Julius Caesar and that creates as many enemies within as without. But it's the enemies within that usually prove by far more dangerous.
So I'm not going to take the silly way out, the NDP "default option." It's an empty vessel, meaningless. I'll be content to do what I can to change as many minds as possible. If I succeed and that leads them to choose the NDP that's their business and if the Liberals choose to let that happen, well that's on them.