Saturday, September 23, 2006

Jack and Tommy

I am no great friend of the NDP or of Jack Layton, but the recent slanders against the leader of the NDP for his opposition to the Afghan adventure in sucking up to the US Empire have jogged my memory. Back in 1970, PM Trudeau imposed the War Measures Act against the dozen or so FLQ members who had kidnapped Cross and Laporte. Tommy Douglas stood up in Parliament and loudly criticized the imposition of the act and voted against it. For this he was castigated, and if memory serves me correctly, even some of his own party members did not vote with him. Well, 35 years later, all but the most died-in-th-wool Trudeau apologists see the use of the War Measures Act as a major error, something that did more to inflame nationalist passions and create lasting resentment among Quebec's intellectuals than anything since the Conscription Crisis of WW2. Tommy has been totally vindicated. I suspect 35 years from now, if we are still here, we will look at Jack in the same way. (Not to imply he is cut from the same cloth as Douglas, by the way.)

2 Comments:

Blogger Werner said...

I agree with you. Tommy's opposition to the War Measures Act was, in my view, about the last example of genuinely principled social democracy in this country. Funny, just this morning I got a comment on my blog in response to a letter ( which I also posted on the VCM site ) criticizing the federal government kissyfaced reception of Karzai from Afghanistan. Apparently Layton has tried to say that the new Afghani president opposes the UN "mission" which is obviously untrue. The comment writer who called himself "neoconservative" expressed dislike for Layton on this basis ... and I think he was partial to what I had said although I'm not quite sure why.

1:47 PM  
Blogger mollymew said...

Your memory serves you well Larry. The 1968 election returned 22 members of the NDP to the federal parliament. Only 16 members voted against the War Measures Act.

2:03 PM  

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