From the Hamilton Spectator (although the same story has appeared in a number of other places), a summarized passage from Bob Rae's upcoming book:
Liberal leadership hopeful Bob Rae says he left the NDP because his party was incapable of rising beyond a "knee-jerk" antipathy toward Canadian business, an explanation spelled out in a new book coming out just a month before the big vote.
Rae writes that after 20 years, he concluded the NDP was "wedded to a culture of opposition and protest."
The federal NDP's recent opposition to any tax changes for large and even small business is a sure sign that 'private sector is bad, public sector is good' is a flawed mantra it simply can't avoid," he said.
Ouch! That old accusation, now wielded by one of the NDP's stars of yore.
Unfair? Maybe. People forget that, for example, Rae Days were an attempt at deficit reduction which fell entirely upon the Ontario NDP's own political base (public sector unions). Yet, it isn't like the business community of the day gave them any credit for "rising above" party ideology. And if you look at this article in the current The Hill, it seems that the Tory's philosophy of government is too ignore any part of the country that does not share its central beliefs. Every act is aimed at appeasing the Hardcore.
So Rae is blaming the NDP for not doing something that nobody else does either and, when he did it as NDP Premier, brought the party nothing but the enmity of CUPE and OPSEU.
Even more interesting to me was Rae's appearance on CBC's The House this Saturday, where he claimed that his great mistake as Premier was to think he could affect the Ontario economy in 1990-91 through Keynesian "pump-priming". His repudiation of Keynes seems a bit broad, although there is no question that trying to spend your way out of a recession when the deficit was running at a little under $10,000,000,000 was a mistake.
Finally, a fuller statement by Bob Rae of his reasons for leaving the NDP can be found at the Macleans website.