NDPers are so nice. Even people whose selfish actions threaten the party with ruination are still welcome in their group hug.
It’s been almost two weeks since the caucus launched its inept coup against NDP Leader Lorraine Michael, and there have been absolutely no repercussions.
Maybe NDPers oppose coup
d’etats only when the CIA orchestrates them.
It is past time for the NDP to grow a spine, stand tall, man up — or whatever — and kick Dale Kirby and Christopher Mitchelmore out of the party.
The alternative — allowing the caucus-quitting, disgruntled duo to maintain their membership in the party — is even more damaging to the NDP’s credibility.
Doing nothing sends a bad message to the public. It tells voters that the NDP is docile, stunned, limp, lacking in self-respect and not worthy of respect.
The proper response to unprovoked betrayal is, “Get out.” The addition of expletives and colourfully foul adjectives is optional.
Otherwise, the NDP faces a preposterous scenario. When the party’s leadership review rolls around next spring, Kirby and Mitchelmore can stroll the halls chatting and schmoozing and encouraging their fellow idealists to oust Michael.
Naturally, they will reassure other members that they are still devout NDPers.
All that stuff about almost single-handedly — double-handedly? — destroying what the party had built over the past few years, well, let’s just move forward and engage to the end of the day, and so on.
Speak your mind
You’d think two guys as rebellious as Kirby and Mitchelmore would be more articulate, rather than relying on clichés and banalities.
“I am opposed to Lorraine Michael’s leadership. Here are my specific reasons why.”
Neither of them has said this yet. There is no reason to think they will. If they had any intention of outlining details, they would have done it by now.
Break free from that group hug with your forgiving friends, guys, and approach the microphones and tell the voting public exactly what it is that you don’t like about Michael’s leadership. We’ve yet to hear it. On which issue has her leadership been lacking? Health care? Muskrat Falls? Government cutbacks?
As many people have pointed out during the past two weeks, Michael is the most popular leader in the province and has the highest personal approval rating. Voters think she is doing a good job. Obviously, Kirby and Mitchelmore disagree. Why? They’ve yet to say.
It isn’t enough to say, as Kirby did this week, “It’s untenable for me to remain in the NDP caucus.”
That’s just political bafflegabbery that says nothing and means nothing.
Mitchelmore told The Northern Pen, “I determined that sitting as an independent would be the best way to serve my constituents at this time.” Slow down, buddy. You’re drowning us in details.
Free to disagree
Politicians should speak out when they disagree with their leader or with their party, without fear of repercussions. Don’t like Lorraine? Say so. Say why. We’re waiting.
But what Kirby and Mitchelmore have done is something else entirely. Such drastic actions as they have undertaken require a concise, reasonable explanation. There hasn’t been one.
Michael partially acceded to their demands by agreeing to hold
a leadership review. Kirby and Mitchelmore could have quickly doused their party’s self-immolation by accepting and endorsing her action. But they quit instead, proving they are stubborn as well as arrogant.
At least Gerry Rogers and George Murphy, the co-conspirators in the failed coup, admitted they made a mistake. Some people have mocked them for doing so. But really … admitting to mistakes is something we should encourage in politicians. Wouldn’t it be great if Stephen Harper or Kathy Dunderdale occasionally admitted mistakes?
Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.