Here we are almost a month after the election and if you read the MSM and the Liberal blogosphere you would think we have nothing but doom and gloom ahead of us for the next four years. That the NDP is naive to think they can make a difference and should sit back, oppose and hold on for the ride. Further these same people assert the NDP and Jack Layton had more influence in the last minority than they have now.
Lets talk about that minority government. If my Liberal friends wanted to demonstrate progressive leadership they could have amended budgets and government bills or defeated Harper a gazillion times. How many votes did the Liberals squander when they had the ability to influence Harper's agenda?
Im sure you all remember the day Michael Ignatieff said enough is enough. He said he wouldn't vote for the Conservative government budget unless they brought the results of their work to class so he, the teacher, could review it every few months. He was putting the government on probation or words to that effect. How did that work out folks? Is that the kind of influence that Jack and the NDP don't have today?
Canadians are opposed to the war in Afghanistan. We have been for many years now, yet when called to end the mission in that country, the Liberals voted with Harper to extend our war efforts. They ridiculed Jack Layton for suggesting people start talks with the Taliban. Is that the kind of influence that Jack and the NDP don't have today?
How about the time Liberals, NDP and BLOC joined together to force the government to hand over documents pertaining to the Afghanistan detainee issue. The government by refusing to hand over documents as demanded by Parliament was almost found in contempt and could have been forced to comply by the speaker.
The Conservatives proposed a committee and Judge to oversee the process. This committee would see documents after some retired Judge looked at stuff and said you can see this but not this. The Liberals proclaimed victory, The BLOC joined the other two and the NDP pulled out of the talks and committee, calling it a sham. The opposition had actually managed to gain back some of the Supremacy of Parliament from the Prime Minister with the speakers ruling. The Liberals took all those cards and folded. Is that the kind of influence that Jack and the NDP don't have today?
The MSM bought the whole line about a third party and away the Conservatives went, knowing full well they had the tools to run out the clock. Over a year has gone by, we are further away from the success that was Parliament's before the Conservative committee proposal was agreed to by the Liberals and the BLOC. We know nothing.
My point with all of this is that minority or not, the last two Conservative governments had their way with the Liberal opposition.
I assert that the NDP enjoys an advantage over the Liberals in opposition. The NDP have great connections with the progressive movements in this country and around the world. Those movements will be vital in dampening the majority clout of Harper. The NDP will make propositions to as well as oppose this government. They will use the house rules where they can, slow the government down in order to rally public support and make the government hear the evidence.
In the end, Harper can ignore the evidence, he can ignore public opinion. What Harper and I'm guessing a few in the blogosphere and MSM don't know is how Canadians will react when they have had a chance to see for themselves, there is a better way.
One can hunker down as the Liberals have for the last five years, one can look ahead and see disasters at every turn or you can roll up your sleeves and get to work.
That’s the kind of influence that Jack Layton and the NDP have today.