One down, Svend to go
The reshaping of the Canadian political landscape continues apace: bye, bye Buzz.
The move by the Ontario wing also cuts Hargrove's ties to the federal NDP.
Hargrove, who has been in the NDP for 41 years and head of the CAW for more than 13 years, said he had no warning he was going to be kicked out of the party.
No warning? You hug Paul Martin on the campaign trail, and you have the nerve to say this comes out of left field? (Heh. Left field. Get it? Left...never mind.)
Unions and the NDP are natural allies on an ideological level, but the facts on the ground have changed over the years. Union jobs are increasingly upper-middle-income - especially if benefits are taken into account. Union leaders are paid to put the interests of their members first, and if those interests don't line up with the environmentalists, or the peace-activists, or the minimum-wage-poor, then how much influence should union leaders have within the NDP? Buzz's constituency is much, much narrower than Jack!'s, and the gap will only grow wider as the NDP continues to make gains with the electorate.
Besides, I think Buzz is more about control than anything else. With party financing rules having eliminated big union money from the equation, Buzz just doesn't have the clout he used to. And he doesn't strike me as the sort of fellow who takes a loss of power all that well.
The relationship between Buzz and the NDP is, strictly speaking, none of my business. But as someone who would prefer to see a more honest ideological debate in this country, with a strong CPC on the right and a strong...well, not that strong NDP on the left, I can't help but smile. Anything is better than the what-do-we-believe-this-week-Liberals. By dumping Hargrove, the NDP takes a step closer to that ideal.
And it couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy.