Saturday, September 19, 2009

So now what?

The last few days have seen numerous twists and turns in the apparent course of events in the House of Commons - with the latest appearing to be a conclusion that the EI legislation which the NDP wants to work with will be held up by the Bloc. And there are still plenty of ways in which either the EI bill or other matters in Parliament could shift again to move Canada back toward the fall election which seemed inevitable just a couple of weeks ago.

But with the NDP having generally set itself up on a track to avoid an election, there's one serious question now facing the party which the Libs never bothered to answer when in a relatively similar stance. Namely, what exactly will the party be doing to improve its position while prolonging the current Parliament? Or if the NDP's goal is to avoid an election now, what's the plan to make sure that it's better placed for an election later?

I've mentioned a couple of opportunities which the NDP will presumably want to pursue. But those are dependent on at least one of the other parties in Parliament recognizing common interests and working with the NDP - and while it would be a plus if those came to fruition, it's obviously impossible to plan based on matters beyond a party's control. (Again, this is one of the lessons that the Libs never seemed to figure out.)

Of course I'll be mooting some more suggestions of my own, and I'll invite readers to do the same. But the most important answers will have to come from those within the NDP who concluded that the party's best choice was to buy time now rather than seeking to take advantage of the opportunities from a fall election: what return are we expecting to get on the investment?

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