One of the strange things about holding the balance of power in any legislative body around the world, is that you have as much power to improve your reputation as you do in destroying it.
The Labour Party in Israel took a gamble and supported the governing party years ago. The end result was that a good chunk of Labour supporters became disenchantment with the Labour party. The next Labour Party leader upon election declared that it was a mistake that should never be repeated. When Ariel Sharon made an appeal for Labour's help the next time around, Labour refused learning it's lesson.
The NDP, despite its long history in managing it's influence in minority parliaments, hasn't learned that lesson yet.
By aligning itself with the most corrupt government in Canadian history it will take all the criticism for any of the actions of the government from this point forward. And what will it have gained?
It's a precarious situation. The NDP will almost certainly loose support over the long term. As a left wing Canadian you have to be asking yourself why are supporting the NDP when they are just supporting the Liberal Party that you refuse to vote for?
The NDP's prime political purpose is to steal votes away from the Liberal Party. By doing this they pull the Liberal Party to the left. In a minority government, with the NDP holding the balance of power, many devoutly socialist policies have been implemented by aligning themselves with the Liberals. Over time the revelance of the NDP decreased and decreased until the NDP became a minor player in parliament barely making official party status.
Jack Layton takes a gamble right know. He was disappointed by his party's performance in the last election. He was supposed to usher in a recovery of the NDP. The NDP was supposed to regain it's prominence in the last election. That didn't happen.
Now the NDP is going to be forced to defend the corruption of this Liberal government. Because if they don't, people will blame the NDP for keeping them in power. They have handcuffed themselves to the Liberal Party, whether they like it or not.
The NDP gained a socialist Day Care system out of this deal with Martin. The question is how much did they really pay for it?