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Let's not rejoice about the firing of two Tory candidates

Are Harper and Mulcair Accidental Soulmates?

by Judy Haiven

Two children in Gaza house ruins.  Photo by the Telegraph, London.
Two children in Gaza house ruins. Photo by the Telegraph, London.

The NDP should not rejoice because the Tories have fired two candidates on the weekend.  The candidate for Scarborough-Rouge Park, appliance repairman Jerry Bance, was caught on video relieving himself into a coffee mug at a customer’s home.  Only the week before, high profile Tory cabinet minister Jason Kenney flew to Toronto to kick off Bance’s campaign.  The second sacked candidate, Tim Dutaud, the Tory hopeful for Toronto-Danforth, posted sexist pranks on Youtube. In one,  he pretended to have an orgasm with a woman while he was on the phone; he also made fun of people with disabilities. With steely determination, the Prime Minister announced that Bance and Dutaud were unworthy of representing the brand also known as the Conservative Party.

Before the NDP and its supporters send up a cheer, or even a high-five, let’s not forget what happened a couple of weeks previous.  NDP leader Mulcair refused to allow four NDP candidates to run in ridings from rural Nova Scotia to Victoria BC.  He did not appreciate what the four candidates did to the NDP brand.  What  horrible embarrassing thing did the four do? The four had each either posted remarks on social media or commented about Israel’s war on Gaza which took place in the summer of 2014.  The four dared to criticize Israel for dropping bombs which killed 2200 mainly civilians, including 500 children.  In addition to the killing of thousands, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) destroyed more than 7,000 Palestinians’ homes, 22 clinics and hospitals and shelled at least seven UN schools in Gaza.  The four NDP candidates sympathised with Palestinians in Gaza and dared to speak out, albeit mildly, at the time.  Some of the candidates called what Israel did war crimes. They were in good company because the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Amnesty International also thought the IDF’s ‘mowing the lawn’ --as Israel itself calls its frequent bombings of Gaza-- a war crime.

Getting back to Canada, unfortunately the NDP did not hesitate to fire the four  NDP candidates who displayed humanitarian spirit, and political principle in condemning Israel’s bombing of Gaza.  In doing so, the NDP and the Tories have become accidental soulmates.  But while the Tory miscreants acted in merely selfish and juvenile ways, the NDP four acted on principle.  The principle was to back human rights, and stand up for the unarmed Gazan civilians who want nothing more than to be able to live.

Judy Haiven teaches in the Management Dept at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary's University. She is chair of the CCPA-NS.


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Topics: Solidarity
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