In my opinion, every NDP MP should be sending Justin Trudeau a Christmas card this year.
Not because they like or agree with him, but because I think he just unwittingly threw an election and drastically limited left wing vote-splitting, giving the Federal NDPs their first fighting chance at really taking the House of Commons.
Now, to be clear, I have always been a huge fan of the Crown Prince of Canadian federal politics (until now). And I originally thought the NDP got kind of a double-slap (one win, one loss) in the 24 hours between May 5 and 6, with the Alberta blow-out in yesterday’s election and the passage of Bill C-51 today, the latter of which I saw as an NDP loss.
Not so much.
I have spent a couple of hours thinking on it, and talking to people, and I have to say, I think the NDP should be cheering C-51, too, despite having uniformly voted against this travesty of a reckless, dangerous bill.
I think the Canadian public has become disenfranchised with the Tories and Harper, and I think the Liberals would’ve won the 2015 election in a lock – until today. I think Trudeau whipped his party to vote in favour of C-51 in hopes of bringing some of the more right-wing voters into the fold. And I think this cost him a chance at the Prime Minister’s desk.
I think he tried to appear strong – protecting the Homeland – and came off weak, instead – protecting his office at the expense of his ideals and platform.
NEWSFLASH – George W. Bush is no longer in office. Maybe we should stop pandering to his ideals, including the Patriot Act?
I think Bill C-51 support was a catastrophically stupid decision guided more by ego and a desire to win a majority than by polling numbers, intellect, ethics or political acuity, and I’m glad Trudeau showed his true colours before I ever stood in a polling station with his name (or his supporters) on the ballot.
I have, in the Koots, voted federal NDP, for no other reason (for all that I like Atamanenko, and I do) than because the federal Liberals have never fielded someone I perceived to be a credible candidate. If they DID, I would’ve have voted Lib in a heartbeat.
Here’s the current lay of the land from my perspective: The vast majority of Canadians, from right-wing extremes like Conrad Black and the Canadian Bar Association and every sitting privacy commissioner … to left wing believers like 40 civil society groups, four past prime ministers and five former Supreme Court Justices (Source: Steve Anderson, OpenMedia), oppose Bill C-51.
So what does today’s vote – uniformly pro on the Tory/Whig side and uniformly con on the NDP/Green side - mean?
Well, vote whipping, for one – and any MP who caved to that should be ashamed, this bill is too important for self-interest.
But it also means that Trudeau lost millions of votes like mine. So how will that play out?
The way I see it, it will go one of two ways – it will either screw the left and see another Tory win.
OR – and this seems easily as likely – all those who would’ve voted for the Liberals will now vote NDP. (I like the Green Party, and I want Elizabeth May in the debates, in fact I think it’s an offense against democracy to even consider excluding her, but I don’t see them as real contenders to take the House … not yet, at any rate). Don’t think that can happen? Look to Alberta and tell me that.
The real risk to the left, from my perspective, was vote-splitting. I think Trudeau just handily disposed of that concern by costing himself the support of every Liberal voter I know, and millions more like us.
If the Tories win, they should send Trudeau Christmas cards for tossing away millions of voters who were looking left. If the NDP win, they should send Trudeau Christmas cards for ending the vote-splitting that keeps seeing the Tories take power.
Either way, he should get LOTS of Christmas cards – and none of them at 24 Sussex Drive.