It's like stepping into a nest of vipers. Point out the obvious, that NDP leader Tom Mulcair, like his rivals, embraces neoliberalism (his support for CETA alone puts that beyond doubt) and Dippers come pouring out to angrily defend Tom's virtue as though he was a virginal 16-year old at the Debutantes' Ball.
Sorry kids but you chose the guy and you're going to have to live with him, warts and all. He's an ex-Liberal, Thatcherite, Harper courtin', market fundamentalist neoliberal, Likudnik, petro-pol with a reputation for bursts of ill-temper and those creepy, serial killer eyes.
You're not a party of the Left any more. That's over. At the very best you're centrist, deliberately so, but that takes on a different connotation when you factor in how far Canada's political centre has been shifted to the Right with the Tories now far beyond anything really conservative, the Liberals having morphed into Conservative-Lites and the NDP filling in as Latter Day Liberals having abandoned the Left to its own devices. Sure you're still well to the left of Harper but to an outsider the distinction between the Libs and the New Dems can sometimes be a bit blurry.
You can't leave the Left and pretend that you haven't. You have. You've kept the name but you're no longer the party of Douglas and Lewis. That's over. You jettisoned that. You felt it was baggage that would frustrate your grab for the brass ring.
Perhaps to keep your heads from exploding you keep drawing tenuous comparisons between what you suppose your party will do and how you perceive the Libs performed in the past. It tends to border on childishness.
Let's get one thing straight. I'm not saying the New Dems are neo-conservative. They're not but neither are the Liberals. The Tories, however, have clear neo-con instincts and appetites. I am saying you're neoliberal, all of you.
Socialism is a political ideology. Social democracy is a more social ideology. Neoliberalism is a primarily economic ideology. Your party was conceived in socialism and, for decades, fiercely defended those principles. For Canada there was great service in that. Among other things it kept the political spectrum open and healthy, affording plenty of room for ideas and vision. It was a great position from which to challenge Liberal and Conservative governments, keeping them a lot more honest than they would have been otherwise.
Now the political spectrum stands truncated. There is far less room for ideas and vision but what remains is ideal for those who would rather rule than lead. For the voting public, this narrowing of the spectrum restricts choice. The party faithful don't see it that way because they can't. They're rallying behind their brand, politically lobotomized. What the brand wants is good and pure. What other brands want is wanton, duplicitous, self-serving and just plain bad.
As for the election it becomes a bauble here, a bauble there, bold promises only loosely connected to reality and all heavily larded with lies. It comes with the territory for winners.
As a thoroughly disaffected, former Liberal, I should not greatly begrudge the NDP their success. They've given their all to get where they are.