The Liberals like to portray to progressives they are the Party of Trudeau. They ceased being that party when Paul Martin became Finance Minister. I feel for many loyal Liberal members and supporters. They hang on, hoping their MPs will show some courage. MPs like Kennedy, Dryden, Bennett, Rae and Fry are being ignored or told to wait it out, due to the race to the right by the Liberal election planning team.
The progressives have been pushed to the side and with Iggy's right wing approach to war and torture is it any wonder the Liberals so many Liberals did not show up to vote on the War Resistors Bill. It was not a priority for them. I feel bad for progressive Liberals like Kennedy. They are living in the past if they think the Liberals will remember Trudeau on these issues.
There is no excuse for missing the vote. Its the old game of sending in the old line Liberals and leaving a few outside, just a few, enough to ensure the bill does not pass. How many Harper budgets have past due to Liberals pretending to be unavailable to vote? How many times has Harper survived confidence motions because the Liberals either voted with the Harper Conservatives or stayed away from the house.
These people are MPs. They were elected to represent their constituents. How are they doing their job if they fail to vote on important legislation on budgets? The answer is that they are not doing their jobs.
The NDP on the other hand have stuck to their principals. They voted against Harper's budgets, they voted against Harper almost at every turn. They took the hard road on the Long Gun bill. It wasn't easy, the balancing the right of MPs to vote as they feel their constituents want them too on the long gun bill when so many of us New Democrats are opposed to ending the Registry. Yet the NDP and Jack Layton made sure the votes were there.
Iggy may be leader in name of the Liberal party, yet he has failed to deliver. His failure has made sure the Harper agenda has succeeded since 2006.
The next election will be crucial. The Liberals will have to stand for something if we are to prevent Harper from forming another government. As it stands now, it would appear most Canadians will vote for someone other than Harper. The Liberal leader will have to be willing to work with the other opposition parties, to form a government and to end four years of regressive governments.
If you want to read more on the War Resistors bill, check out Creekside and We Move to Canada.