Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On wedges

Greg offers up an important response to the Cons' initial line of attack on Brian Topp. But let's also note how the latest barrage fits into the Cons' broader strategy in taking on the NDP.

Remember what happened as part of the silly season of summer, when the Cons joined the Libs in trying to slam Nycole Turmel and the NDP for even the slightest perceived connection to the sovereigntist movement. After it became clear that the media wasn't about to give either of the other parties a pass on their own links to the Bloc, the Cons and their apologists came up with another position: that past involvement in the Bloc and PQ were just fine, but that Turmel and the NDP should be uniquely condemned for their links to the left-wing values of Quebec Solidaire. Which should offer a rather compelling signal that the issue was never sovereigntism, but instead an effort to prevent the NDP from daring to associate with the activists who would naturally form crucial parts of its base.

Similarly, the attack on Topp looks to be calculated less at the man than at the principle of trying to drive a wedge between the NDP and the labour base - which is even more essential to the NDP's work to build a national movement. And the right response for Topp and the rest of the leadership candidates alike is to point out the importance of bringing people together, rather than allowing the spin to push the NDP and its core constituencies apart.

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