I have, by and large, stayed away from criticizing the NDP but it's at the point where I cannot remain silent. The NDP is playing a very dangerous game by pandering to the separatist element in Quebec. It's doing this in two ways:
1. The Sherbrooke Declaration: The Sherbrooke Declaration is long-standing NDP policy which concludes that Quebec has the green light for separation with a 50%+1 vote on a future sovereignty referendum. This is contrary to the Supreme Court ruling on this issue. In fact, the NDP platform includes a commitment to repeal the Clarity Act, which enacts the Supreme Court decision into law.
2. The NDP has accepted endorsement by the Fédération des travailleurs du Québec, an organization listed as one of Canada`s active separatist movements and a traditional supporter of the Bloc Québécois and the Parti Québécois.
Pandering to separatist sentiments to garner votes by itself is a dangerous proposition. But there is another aspect of the NDP platform which makes this an even greater danger: SENATE ABOLITION.
Now, you may not see the dots in this connection, particularly if you`re under 40 years old. Let me say this. Often, history has a way of repeating itself.
Let`s get back to Mulcair`s commitment to abolish the Senate. Now, what does that mean? Well, as declared by the Supreme Court, it means we would have to open up the constitution as abolishing the Senate requires the unanimous consent of the provinces. Quebec has already indicated it is not interested, as have some premiers from the Atlantic provinces. In order to achieve his objective, Mulcair would need to open up the constitution and start negotiating with the provinces and territories and, of course, First Nations. And here is where we have the high risk of history repeating itself. Quebec is a master negotiator when it comes to constitutional talks, and, as we saw with Meech Lake, when Quebec`s demands are not met, it ignites the separatist movement in Quebec. It is the failure of Meech Lake which gave us the Bloc Quebecois and fueled the march to the near disastrous 1995 sovereignty referendum. THIS IS NOT A GAME THAT WE SHOULD ALLOW ANY FEDERAL PARTY TO PLAY, particularly when it`s platform includes lowering the bar for separatists to achieve their objective.
Like all progressives, I want rid of Stephen Harper, but, voting for a party that is prepared to set up a Brian Mulroney "roll of the dice" scenario in order to gain power should be off the table. Consider your vote carefully. You may well get more than you bargained for and Canada will be the worse for it.
Let's not allow history to repeat itself!