The political question before the House of Commons on April 19th when it debated the Government’s Afghan War policy was; does Parliament support an end to the war or does it support Prime Minister Harper, Defense Minister O’Connor and General Hillier and their demand for a Parliamentary mandate to continue the war indefinitely?
When Conservative MPs, with the support of the NDP caucus voted 150 to 134 on April 24th to defeat the Liberal motion to end the combat role of Canadian military forces in Afghanistan on February 2009 they voted for Harper’s demand for a Parliamentary mandate to continue the war indefinitely. No amount of NDP spin can change that political reality.
Jack Layton and the NDP, claiming to be advancing the cause of immediate withdrawal by helping to defeat the Liberal motion, handed Prime Minister Harper the gift of Parliamentary approval for a Conservative war without end in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Harper is gleeful and will trumpet Parliamentary support for an open ended war far and wide. That is good news for the defense contractors, General Hillier and President George Bush and NATO. The motion of support for Harper came on the same day that President Bush rejected a similar demand by the US Congress to set a date for US withdrawal from Iraq.
The NDP has sacrificed Parliamentary credibility to score points against the Liberals. That is a major blunder and bad news for the cause of peace.
Don Currie,

Chair, Canadians for Peace and Socialism.