Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Jack Layton's first victory of the 39th Parliament.

So, as I've written before, my local MP's been banging on about "the need for an Afghanistan debate". This is usually referred to with the addition "especially as the casualties mount". Now, I think everyone possibly except Jack anticipated that the Kandahar deployment was going to be a tough mission for the CF and that casualties are likely - casualties that would be desperately hard on their families and comrades but sustained in an effort to help that country. The time for "debate" has passed and it is Layton's failure as much as anyone else's if the matter is insufficiently clear at this point.

Why? Because if Jack did have a problem with the deployment or wish to tease it out in some way, he could have tackled Paul Martin who authorised the mission without a vote in the last Parliament. He could have attended the Take Note debate on 15 November. He did neither, and instead he waited for the election of Harper to demand a debate on the Afghanistan mission. Ever since his first intervention post-election it has stunk of attempting to pin the move from Kabul to Kandahar on Harper when those decisions were made late last year.

Harper has just announced the holding of... a Take Note debate. The same kind of debate (with no vote at the end) as he skipped on 15 November and only two NDP MPs (Siksay and Blaikie) attended. NDP Bloggers are naturally declaring victory (in a very "George Bush on the carrier deck kinda way) here and also here.

If these are the kind of pretend victories that will keep Jack happy I suppose we can live with them, since they don't seem to cost much. I just wonder what flights of historic speechifying we can expect from Layton in this debate - if he turns up.
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