While no party is immune to public opinion (save the Greens,) there's no doubt that the NDP is the champion at selling out their ideals in the sad and often futile pursuit of votes. While the Liberals and the Conservatives flop around on occasion, at least they have some semblance of a cohesive national policy.
So the NDP, remains all things to all people.
In British Columbia they are a light imitation of the Greens, espousing a policy of environmentalism and sustainability. They appeal to the upper middle-class Yuppies, who are just a tad afraid of the radical greens.
In Ontario they are the union party, manning the barricades for the working man.
Between these two provinces lies the NDP constituency, the rest of the country provides a seat or two here and there but nothing sustainable. Most members outside the traditional power base have won their seats on the strength of their own candidacy or other quirks such as a constituency that is on the outs with both major parties.
Nothing hurts the credibility of the NDP as a national party as the almost complete lack of representation in the province of Quebec. And so back-stopping the NDP's lone member in Quebec, 'Oncle' Thomas Mulcair, in his Outremont riding remains of paramount importance.
Outremont is a strange riding that combines upper income Francophones with a hodgepodge of well-off English and ethnics including Canada's biggest congregation of Hasidic Jews. The riding has traditionally gone Liberal, but with the sponsorship scandal and the Liberals at the nadir of their popularity in 2007, Mulcair was able to eke out a protest vote victory, when Liberal Jean Lapierre abandoned politics in a huff. Within a year of his by-election win a federal election was called where he managed to hold onto his seat - barely.
He is by no means safe next time around, so tailoring a platform that appeals to the yuppie Francophones in the riding, who represent his major constituency is of critical importance to the NDP.
But more important than that, the NDP is now looking forward to a possible coalition with the Liberals in the next federal election. Layton and the NDP are carving out a position that will make them a popular second choice in Quebec, representing a suitable dancing partner for a coalition. Since the Bloc Quebcois has demonstrated itself wholly unacceptable to Canadians, it befalls the NDP to take up the mantle of Quebec radicalism.
That is why the NDP has become the second national Canadian political party to espouse an anti-English/pro-Quebec nationalist platform and have been front and center promoting a French nationalist agenda. It is a NDP member who proposed that Supreme Court judges be bilingual, a wildly popular concept in Quebec, not so much outside.
Uncle Thom and Happy Jack are careful to speak in French when denouncing Bill 103 and avoid any talk of language issues when talking to reporters in English. When the Francophone press appears, it's back to Anglo-bashing.
The latest outrage is the NDP lending its name and support to a rainbow coalition of Separatist, Nationalist and semi-violent radical organizations that have banded together to do battle against the 'nefarious' Bill 103.
Here's a press release put out by the Saint Jean Baptist Society, Quebec's leading separatist organization, who proudly welcome the NDP into its ranks of a coalation formed to fight Bill 103.
Des représentants de plusieurs autres organismes appuyant la Coalition seront présents. Ces organismes sont : Québec Solidaire, le Nouveau Parti démocratique, les syndicats FTQ, SFPQ et FAE, le Mouvement national des Québécoises et des Québécois (MNQ), le Mouvement Montréal français (MMF), le Mouvement Montérégie français, le Mouvement Laurentide français, Impératif français, le Réseau de Résistance québécoise (RRQ), le Rassemblement pour un pays souverain (RPS), les Jeunes Patriotes du Québec (JPQ) et le Mouvement Pacifique pour l'Indépendance du Québec (MPIQ) et plusieurs autres.Welcome aboard, boys, you're in good company!
It is utterly unbelievable that the NDP's pandering to the Quebec radical movement goes unreported in English Canada. Try any Google search coupling 'Bill 103' and 'NDP' together and you'll get nothing in English. Do a French search using 'NPD' plus 'Loi 101' and you'll get a flood a flood of stories about the NDP joining forces with a coalition of radical French separatist organizations. Try it...