Thursday, April 26, 2012
Whip It Good
Stephen Woodworth's person-hood motion will not be defeated by Bob Rae's whipping or not whipping his caucus against the measure. It will be defeated because Stephen Harper needs it to be defeated or he will see his real agenda--deregulation, rolling back environmental protections--go up in flames as he panders to the CPoC right wing. Nevertheless, Mulcair's move to whip his own people, despite their already unanimous opposition to the measure, was a pretty clever trick. Since he's become NDP leader, opposition politics has become more about broad rhetorical gestures that project "strength" and "leadership" and less about the kind of nuance, statesmanship, and appeal to democratic principles that Mr. Rae would like to offer. But that's tough. In today's Ottawa, Rae's equivocation looks like weakness or collaboration, and if he can't play the new game he should retire from it.