Saturday, March 11, 2006

NDP Makes A Mistake On Stronach

I think the NDP has badly miscalculated by drawing Stronach into the ethics investigation. The obvious motivation appears to be an attempt to eliminate the partisan aspect of the story, using Stronach to portray an even standard. If New Democrat MP Pat Martin's desire for a joint investigation is simply a personal view, without political consideration, then he is entitled to his opinion. However, if the NDP has done the political calculation on this issue, and I suspect they have, then they have made a mistake.

First off, the timing is terrible. Why distract from Emerson by introducing the media darling Stronach, in effect clouding the waters and letting Harper off the hook? I don't think the case against Emerson is particularly strong, but Harper has turned this inquiry into a question of accountability and adherence to law. Introducing Stronach changes the channel, which is stupid politically. The first rule of politics is if your opponent is shooting himself in the foot, get out of the way.

The NDP also opens themselves up on the ethical front. Why wasn't this matter engaged at the time of Stronach's crossing? It would seem the importance of this defection has a direct co-relation to the NDP's own political reality. There is no formal alliance with the Grits now so Stronach is fair game, but during the last parliament the NDP was protecting their own interests, first and foremost. Introducing Stronach well beyond any reasonable timeframe makes the NDP look opportunistic and adds a cynicism to the entire inquiry. If the NDP is banking on portraying themselves as the only "pure" party on ethics, the dynamics of the Stronach angle suggest otherwise.

There are certain aspects to the Emerson affair that are unique, with no resemblance to the Stronach matter. What the NDP has done is blend the two so that any discussion of one necessitates the comparison. On substance, the NDP may be right on Stronach, but politically I don't see the benefits to offset the obvious negatives.


SilverWinger said...

The NDP always thought that they held the moral high ground, and now by bringing in Stronach to make this into less of a partisan tactic, they have re-inforced that they are actually playing partisan politics with their friends the libs.
They seem to believe that they have a mule to beat, but the mule may kick back and leave them more bruised than they already are.

Polunatic said...

I agree with your comments and would add Stronach was RE-ELECTED after floor-crossing. The issue was resolved by the voters and the NDP is showing disrespect for them by second guessing their decision.

It re-inforces the view that the Emerson battle is about the power of political parties at the expense of elected members and the voters.

And of course, when Stronach crossed the floor, the NDP needed her vote so there is no comment to be found on their website about her transgressions.

NDP playing politics with ethics

Steve V said...

alberta born

Trying to stop the appearance of partisanship, they offer a proposal that smells of partisan politics.


That is a great point on Stronach. Stronach has already faced the voters and they have backed her decision.

DazzlinDino said...

The main problem with introducing the Stronach thing, is that a position was never invented for Emerson, whereas for Belinda, what was she, Minister of Funky Shoes or something.

Don't get me wrong here, the Emerson deal smells to high heaven and goes against what I wanted out of a Conservative government, bet Belinda and Emerson are apples and oranges......

Steve V said...


I'm pretty sure it was Minister of Silver Spoons and Entitlements, but I'm just splitting hairs.