Sunday, September 10, 2006

Etu Hetu

Besides Paul Summerville the NDP lost two Quebec candidates as well on the eve of the Convention in Quebec. Do I smell something fishy in these pre Convention announcements. You bet. They could have seriously hurt the party. However they were lost in the sea of media coverage of the Afghanistan resolution. Which also swamped coverage of the many other good and important resolutions passed this weekend.

Carl Hetu, the Quebec co-chairman of Layton's leadership campaign, said the party remained marginal in his province and appeared to be heading nowhere.

That was a kind of nasty thing to say when the Party's focus was trying to pose a viable Social Democratic alternative in Quebec to the BQ.

NDP convention opens with attack on Layton

The co-president of the New Democrats' Quebec campaign in the past election, Carl Hétu, and Pierre Laliberté, the NDP candidate in Hull–Aylmer the past two elections, have both accused Mr. Layton of spending too little time in the province during the election early this year and of centralizing power at the expense of the party's grassroots.

Mr. Hétu said he was leaving the party while Mr. Laliberté said he was “taking his distance.”

The grumbling from Quebec began Thursday when Mr. Hétu published an opinion piece in Le Devoir announcing he was leaving the party after 20 years as an activist and candidate in the 2000 election.

“I am disappointed with the way Jack Layton and his party are directing the party,” he wrote, accusing Mr. Layton of ignoring Quebec. “The MPs who did not support Mr. Layton's [leadership bid] in January, 2003, had good reason. Their concerns have been proven. Like me, many activists in the party are disappointed.”

Mr. Laliberté, who received the third-highest percentage of votes among Quebec NDP candidates at 15.5 per cent, said he also heard many concerns from voters that Mr. Layton delivers only rehearsed lines that sound like they were crafted by a public relations firm.

“People want to know what sort of person they are going to put in high office and if they keep giving scripted answers, then at a certain point you don't know who you're voting for,” he said. “I think at some point you have to be honest.”

Mr. Laliberté said the NDP failed to capitalize on the troubles of the Liberals and Bloc in Quebec.

“I'm tired of being with a party that's out of sync with what needs to be done and said,” he said.

Well quiting the Party now really helps doesn't it. As for complaints about Jack not being in Quebec enough, I think not. He has been there before, during and after the election. It is his home province.

Something is fishy here about this attack. And I suspect it may be the Sherbrooke Accord the Quebec wing of the party drafted and was accepted by the Convention.

The NDP recognizes the national characteristic of Quebec and its right to self-determination, specifying that this characteristic can find its expression in the context of a federal Canada.

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