Monday, February 13, 2006

Smart of NDP to take a buzz saw to Hargrove

I am not normally in favour of political parties stripping people of membership (and in light of recent events, it's lucky for some of us that the Conservative Party and its predecessor entities didn't make a habit of it).

But even though it doesn't reflect well on the New "Democratic" Party, I think it was smart of the Ontario NDP executive to strip Basil "Buzz" Hargrove of his membership, for violating the party's constitution regarding provisions against endorsing other candidates. The move also automatically revokes his membership in the federal party.

You can't blame the NDP for being fed up with Buzz taking a buzz saw to their interests in two general elections in a row now. Hargrove did the exact same thing to them in the 2003 provincial election – advocate voting Liberal to defeat the Tories – which may have played a role in the Howard Hampton-led New Democrats falling one seat short of party status in the election outcome. After enduring 11 weeks of negative publicity for refusing to agree to grant some kind of status to the NDP, Dalton McGuinty relented and allowed the NDP a reduced standing and a research budget. A few months later the NDP got their full status back by taking a seat from the Liberals in a Hamilton by-election. That status is again at risk with the resignation of Marilyn Churley to run (unsuccessfully) in the federal election. The NDP has to win her seat in Beaches-East York to retain their party status.

Buzz Hargrove was also a considerable pain in the bum to former federal NDP leader Alexa McDonough during her tenure. She must be smiling today.

In January, I wondered why the media treated Buzz's endorsement of Martin as big news, considering it was Buzz's second time at the Liberal party, and suggested that the NDP should have a nice bag of quotes next time to inoculate themselves against yet another Liberal endorsement from Buzz. Turns out they decided that wasn't good enough.

No doubt the provincial NDP made the move with an eye to the next Ontario election, scheduled for October 2007. If Buzz tries to pull the strategic voting stunt again, perhaps it will have less impact.


Dr. Dawg said...

OT, but is Kinsella suing you yet? :)

Joan Tintor said...