Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Return of American Imperialism

Heh... not really

As they meet in Halifax this weekend to chart the way forward for their party, the NDP has once again elected to become the party of American imperialism.

Well, not really. But if their ideological counterparts were up to some of the things they're doing this weekend, they'd be the first to denounce it.

Appearing at the NDP convention this weekend are Marshall Ganz and Betsy Myers, two high-profile campaigners for Barack Obama's successful 2008 Presidential run.

There's actually nothing wrong with this. But when the Conservative party enlisted the help of Republican party advisors in recent elections, the NDP and its supporters were quick to call foul, with accusations of American imperialism all around.

The perrenially-loony and normally-NDP-leaning website Global Research even suggested this alluded to an insidious plot to help the United States annex Canada.

Unshockingly, however, the NDP and Liberal party have generously helped themselves to support from the Democratic party whenever its offered, despite the fact that they scream blue murder whenever the Conservative party accepts support from the Republican party.

The NDP are even willing to go south of the 49th parallel to provide help and support of their own.

More recently, the NDP has been active in the American debate over President Obama's health care reform bill. Jack Layton even wrote an op/ed in the vociferously partisan Huffington Post.

"There are way more bridges and doors opening [for the NDP] within the Democratic Party, because of Obama winning," says NDP National Director Brad Lavigne. "There's more of our friends in their campaign and their offices than at any time in the recent past."

Even former CAW President Buzz Hargrove is buzzing around the NDP convention -- despite having embarrassed himself and then-Prime Minister Paul Martin at the direct expense of his NDP membership -- and is supportive of the move, even if his enthusiasm is somewhat tempered.

"It's always interesting to have these relationships with the White House," Hargrove said. "You learn a lot about what they're doing, but to somehow translate that into electoral success in Canada, I think it's blowing in the wind."

Of course there's nothing wrong with the NDP and the Democratic party working together if they decide they hold common goals.

But for the NDP to accept help from an American political party while demonizing their opponents as "American imperialists" for doing the same thing is grossly hypocritical.

Once one finishes with the subject of NDP hypocrisy on this particular matter, there's still the risk that the Democrats are taking by associating so closely with the NDP.

"Obama and his people are lucky that Americans ignore Canada and are ignorant about Canadian politics," adds Gil Troy. "I can imagine how much fun the Fox News crowd would have with this news, playing it up as if it showed that Obama had ties to the [Communist] Internationale."

Which is, in and of itself, hyperbole. But then again, so are the age-old charges of American imperialism.

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