Thursday, January 31, 2008

On "embracing the NDP approach" on Afghanistan

I really shouldn't, my main post on Afghanistan will come later, but reading this story this morning, blogged by Scott and Blogging Horse, I was compelled to make a brief comment.

NDP Leader Jack Layton made a personal appeal to the federal Liberals yesterday, urging them to accept his proposal to put an end to Canada's military combat mission in Afghanistan.

spoke briefly to Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion outside the Commons to persuade him not to support Prime Minister Stephen Harper's efforts to extend the mission beyond its current deadline of 2009.
First, let me say I think it would be great if they could sit down and talk. I’d like to see more sitting down and talking amongst all the party leaders actually, and a little more cooperation between the opposition parties, in particular.

I just can’t help but recall, as I read about Jack asking the Liberals to come over to his way of thinking, and not accept a combat mission past 2009, to recall the events of last April.

The NDP favoured immediate withdrawal, a position shared by very few Canadians and no other political party. A motion of their’s to that effect was defeated easily. The Liberals proposed a motion that would call for the combat mission to end in 2009. And what happened?
A Liberal motion to end Canadian combat operations in southern Afghanistan by February 2009 was defeated in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

The NDP joined the Conservatives in defeating the motion, which lost by a close vote of 150-134.

NDP Leader Jack Layton said the vote was nothing more than a green light for an extension to the mission. The NDP wants the troops out immediately.
So, really, it’s nice to see the NDP finally coming around to the Liberal position, even if it is nearly a year too late. I can't help but wonder how the debate would have played-out over the past year if the NDP had sided with the Liberals to pass that motion.

More later.

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Justin Socie said...

I can't believe that NDP supporters didn't rise up over that vote and call for a leadership review.

ch said...

Too bad that vote didn't pass as it would have saved everyone from this Manley-Harper charade and I think the majority of Canadians would have felt comfortable with it.