When Socialists and Conservatives Unite

At least that's what's happening over this latest Liberal motion to pull out troops from Afghanistan.

Besides the obvious weirdness around this vote, even weirder is NDP leader Jack Layton's reason for voting against this motion:
“This is a flip-flop for Liberals who opposed the extension last year, including Stephane Dion. The Liberals brought us into this combat mission war and now they want to keep in it for two more years,” said Layton. “That is unacceptable.”
In other words, the troops should come out, but this isn't fast enough.

Strategically one must wonder at this action by the NDP. No one wants another election - especially not the NDP. But it is only natural for the NPD to vote in support of this motion since it is consistent with its politics.

One must wonder if the NDP made some sort of procedural deal with the Liberals. To keep this parliament alive the NDP votes with the Tories. This way the Liberals are free to vote in such a way that makes them appear more reasonable to those in the white uptight urban peacenick demographic.

Why the NDP would want the Liberals to come across this way is strange to me - the Liberal push to the left is only at the expense of Jack Layton. If they did make a deal you'd think Layton would have gotten something out of it.


  1. It isn't compatible to the party's policy. If they voted with the Liberals they would have to agree that it is ok for the troops to stay for two more years. That is completely unacceptable to the party. That's the reason for the no vote. They don't want to give the two years idea their seal of approval.

  2. To me it seems like a big game of chicken. The Liberals and Bloc staked their claim first, so the NDP had to vote with the government or else be the 'bad guys' to force an election with apparently nobody wants; least of all the NDP which is bleeding red and green.


  3. Supporting the Conservatives makes sense if the NDP stategy in the next election is to concentrate on attacking the Liberals. In the last election he NDP changed strategies. Instead of attacking the Conservatives except when the polls showed a majority Liberal government was going to be elected they continued their attacks on the Liberals even when it seemed that a Conservative majority would be possible. The result was a ten seat gain over the 2004 election.
    Quebec likes to vote for the winner, and thus very few Liberals could be returned to Ottawa from Quebec. combine this with the etreat from seperatism that was demonstrated in the provincial election, you gt a reduction in the number of Bloc seats as well.

    Dion's expected disastrous performance in the English leadership debate, will open the possibiliy of a mass defection of Liberal votes to both the NDP and the conservatives. The result of all this could be that the NDP forms the Official Opposition, with another ten to fifteen seats at least. True this might hand the hated Tories a majority government, but they may get one any way.

    So, why support the Tories now? The longer Dion looks incompetant, the worse the reaction to a poor performance in the leadership debate is going to be. Just imagin how Dion will react when he is attacked by two or even three opponents on every issue during the leaders' debate.