Destroying the NDP One Bite at a Time

Where is the conscience of Canada when we need it most?

Rex Murphy: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh may also be its destroyer

By playing the role of Justin Trudeau’s protector, Singh is eviscerating his own party

Rex Murphy

Aug 10, 2022  •  3 days ago  •  3 minute read  •  547 Comments 

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attends an election night event in Burnaby, B.C., in a file photo from Oct. 21, 2019. Singh's post-election deal to support the minority Liberal government has destroyed NDP credibility, writes Rex Murphy.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attends an election night event in Burnaby, B.C., in a file photo from Oct. 21, 2019. Singh’s post-election deal to support the minority Liberal government has destroyed NDP credibility, writes Rex Murphy. Photo by Jennifer Gauthier / Bloomberg

Jagmeet Singh is making rumbling noises. The NDP leader is beginning to sound like a person who has doubts about his closest political ally and his deal with him.

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How shall we interpret this? For, there are two Jagmeets. Which Jagmeet is at play here?

Twitter Jagmeet is angry Jagmeet. Twitter Jagmeet is as a roaring lion, who rages daily about Liberal ineptitude, heartlessness towards Lunch Box Joe — an outdated NDP term, but let that pass — and scorns Justin Trudeau for his amity toward billionaires and his responsibility for such massive government flops as the infamous Pearson airport and overnight lineups of citizens outside passport offices. The former is a hill of luggage and the latter a national disgrace.

There is another Jagmeet, who may be described as the prime minister’s political fortress of solitude.

There are two Jagmeets. Which Jagmeet is at play here?

This is protector of the reign Jagmeet. Buttress, bulwark and personal breakwater Jagmeet, protecting Justin from what our friend Hamlet in a famous talk referred to as a “sea of troubles.”

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For Trudeau surely has his troubles these days, and an ocean of them.

Now so familiar as to constitute a litany in the general mind: cosmetic racism in his younger days; those cringe-summoning days in India that mutated a state visit into a Bollywood comedy; photo-opping via the government jet; turbulence over government interference with prosecutions against a Quebec company, SNC-Lavalin, and with the RCMP’s investigation into Nova Scotia’s horrific mass murder; the close embrace of he and his near-whole family with the WE evangelists; and, of course, his wild and inexplicable fidelity to catastrophic environmental alarmism, on the altar of which he has offered up as expiatory sacrifices Canada’s oil industry, and latterly — this is or should by any measure be a deep national shame — its agricultural industry, its farmers, men and women who provide “the bread of life” not only to Canadians, but to the less happy and dependant hungry of this whole wide world.

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Have I mentioned the calling down of the Emergencies Act, that great hammer on the civil rights of all Canadians?

No I have not. For which, much shame should fall upon me. The invocation of this invasion of every citizen’s right to protest, its dark reach into the bank accounts of Canadian citizens, and the unspeakable successive prosecutorial assaults on Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Lich throw a grim, deep shadow on Canada’s democracy.

The inquiry into the Liberal government’s “justification” for invoking the Emergencies Act is in the usual sludge and mud and delay launched by this delinquent administration. Parliament is now conveniently in recess, due only to return in a hybrid version utilizing Zoom. The Emergencies Act inquiry, whatever its meagre chances for real revelation, is the most important ever to be instituted. Yet, the calling down of the full powers of the state, which showed the protections of the fabled Charter of Rights and Freedoms to be of tissue strength and useless in the very moment when they are and were most needed, barely stirs whispers in the popular press. New scandals eclipse the older ones.

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New scandals eclipse the older ones

So yes, Trudeau needs “I am Justin’s parliamentary bodyguard” Singh, but Singh is making rumbling noises. Because he has finally heard that his bonding with the Liberal government is hurting, if not nullifying, the NDP as an independent, critical and overseeing force in the House of Commons. Perhaps some in Singh’s own caucus, usually so vibrant on Twitter and in press releases, are viewing the “deal” — I prefer to call it “the coalition” — as stripping the entire NDP of its once so swaddled reputation as the “conscience of the House of Commons.”

Hence we are now hearing that Trudeau must “perform” on his promises of a dental-care program and whatever else Singh threw into the pot when he joined perfect hands with the government he was elected to oppose. Singh is one with the carbon tax. He is one with the torment just thrown at Canadian farmers. He does not push for answers from the inquiry into the Emergencies Act. He asks no questions that will really hurt.

Thus, Singh is eviscerating his own party as a respectable force in Canadian politics. The rumblings I referred to at the top of this piece are the result — I presume — of the few alert members of the NDP caucus who recognize that the leader of their party may also be its destroyer.

Tommy Douglas is revolving in his grave.

National Post

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