Prime Minister Stephen Harper proposed to do something. The proposal was reasonable, balanced and limited. It’s online for all to see. Parliament debated this proposal. Debate was understandably expected by opposition party leaders who said Canada shouldn’t decide before a debate.
Then — before the debate, they decided! So steeped in their own dubious anti-Conservative narratives, so mastered by the hatred and fear those narratives foster, the Liberal and NDP leaders opposed fighting ISIL. It was shameful.
This hedging contrasted badly with 92 per cent approval of the British Parliament for military action. Two thirds of Canadians support the mission. Two former NDP Premiers who were also senior federal Liberals — Ujjal Dosanjh and Bob Rae — support action against ISIL.
Former Liberal Foreign Affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy wants ISIL "whacked good.” Former NDP premier Gary Doer supports the mission. Former Liberal senator Gen. Romeo Dallaire wants more than airstrikes. The Liberal and NDP leaders ignored them all.
The NDP’s debate contribution was naïve smoke. Besides tactical non sequiturs, they tried dressing the motion as the Iraq invasion from 10 years ago, ignoring Iraq’s request for assistance, clear mission objectives, UN Resolutions and involvement of past invasion opponents like France.
Liberals and NDP falsely implied the choice was airstrikes versus aid. They didn’t think Canadians would read the motion – which supports Canada’s U.N-praised ongoing humanitarian efforts.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s priority was hating the Prime Minister. They lost perspective. Their choice illustrates perfectly why they must never lead this country.
— Michael O'Brien writes from Buchans.