Musings —08.29.2011 09:21 PM—
The top ace up his prime ministerial sleeve was always a divided opposition. That is as true today as it was before the untimely death of his NDP rival.
Jean Chrétien held the same card for the duration of his three majority mandates.
Going forward though, the unravelling of the sovereignty movement makes a divided opposition less of a certainty.
With the Bloc out of the federal mix, the possible payoff for uniting the country’s progressive forces under a single federalist banner has become bigger…
If the Layton-related political testimonies of the past week have demonstrated anything, it is that where there are five federal parties, there are really only two political tribes in the larger ideological sense of the word.
In the recent past, many in the Liberal and NDP establishments have been wilfully blind to that reality.
Former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff was one of those. But on his Facebook page on the day of Layton’s funeral, he wrote about his party and the NDP: “The words we care about — generosity, justice, hope — they care about them, too. We don’t own these words and they don’t own them either. These values are bigger than all of us, bigger than our divisions and our arguments. It was good to put the past behind us for an afternoon and imagine what the future of our country might look like if we put those values first.”