I don't often write about the NDP; I occasionally vote for them out of pity, and anyway criticizing the Dippers is too much like being a heckler at the special Olympics. But you've really got to wonder at how they've positioned themselves with respect to the Lib/Green Party non-compete agreement. Apparently, Layton wouldn't even return Elizabeth May's phone-calls when it came to talk of similar co-operation between the Greens and NDP. And yet, as the Earth Mother herself says:
"He talks to Stephen Harper all the time. Surely, our shared values are much closer between the NDP and the Greens."
Both Layton and the federal NDP rank and file think that they can coast on vaguely greenish promises they once made years ago in a white paper nobody read when there was no hope of them becoming the governing party anyway.
Well they can't. Anyone who spent time in B.C. during the 1990s knows how little difference distinguishes the NDP from more Conservative governments when they actually get in power. Remember B.C. Premier Glen Clark calling environmentalists, who helped maintain the NDP in power for ten years, "enemies of B.C."? He was throwing red meat to the other part of his constituency; the lumber workers manning chainsaws during the War of the Woods.
No, in the Green Party we have a new political player on the scene that matches the NDP policy for policy on the environmental front without having its debilitating connections to Big Labor. So flogging the old dead horses won't do the trick. But from his response to the May's attempts at outreach, this seems to be all Jack Layton has to offer.