The NDP has dropped their filibuster, and naturally the Conservatives are rightfully claiming a resounding victory.
The Conservative benches erupted in cheers and backslapping as the final vote was held Saturday night, signalling that the official Opposition New Democrats had folded their tent on a decision the party's deputy leader called "preordained." Prime Minister Stephen Harper emerged from the chamber with Labour Minister Lisa Raitt to say his government had prevailed in the court of public opinion.I was pleased that the NDP had gone back to their roots, standing with labour, but once you start something like this, you have to finish it, or appear weak.
"We know what side the public was on and I think today members of Parliament on the other side finally started to get that message," said Harper. Calling the three days of round-the-clock debate in Parliament "a completely unnecessary delay," Harper said he was "nevertheless pleased that soon Canadians will again have access to their postal service, particularly small businesses and charities."
I think this has definitely weakened them. Not that we shouldn't applaud their efforts, but by sticking to "charities" and "small business" as those the Conservatives were fighting for, they gave themselves leverage, while the NDP appeared to be backing self serving unions. Very sad, but Jack Layton should have known that you can't fight the right-wing noise machine by keeping it oiled.
Or by what Bob Rae called "shambolic behaviour". The ritual pawing of the ground, while unable to add bite to your bark.
Rae saw the standoff as a battle between two ideologies, and while the Conservatives were able to massage the public with the careful crafting of their message, the NDP were not, which will remind those non-conservative supporters that Layton is not a viable alternative to Harper.
This was his first real test.
After some NDP members arrogantly tried to pass a motion, banning any merger talks with the Liberals, but instead saying that the door was open for us to join them, the NDP dropped two points in the polls (Nanos). Their loss was divided between Conservatives and Liberals. They continue to remain strong only in Quebec.
Layton may have joined forces with Stephen Harper to destroy the Liberal Party, but he is instead destroying us. This country fared better when Liberals and NDP worked together. An NDP/Reform-Conservative alliance will never work, and I think Layton may finally be realizing that.
Because not only did his machinations give Harper a majority, but this latest drama, that played so well into Harper's hands, will hurt his party's integrity, while boosting the Conservatives in the polls.
They will continue to play the "socialist" card and within four years I see the NDP crushed by the neoconservatives. The plan all along if Layton had only put his ego aside for a minute and reminded himself of who Stephen Harper really is, and what he stands for.
He has only himself to blame, and posturing over the Sponsorship scandal, just won't cut it in the long term. He'd better develop a strategy quick.
In the meantime, the Liberals can continue to promote themselves as the alternative this country needs. The Conservatives won this one, but we will indeed see more clashing of ideologies.
And the Liberals must continue to provide a voice of reason.