Dear Jack Layton, about this election . . .

Posted: August 26, 2008 in Uncategorized

Dear Jack,

With the coming election, I’m sure you are reading all the polls with great interest. So, I imagine you know, better that most, that in the most recent poll on Canada’s military intevention is Afghanistan (July 10, 2008), 58% disagreed with the decision to keep fighting until 2011. The percentage of Canadians supporting the war (36%), has declined, and corresponds with the level of Tory support reported by Ipsos Canada on August 19.

Support for the Liberals (30%) and the NDP (14%) was unchanged, while the Green party polled 10%, down from 11%, according to Reuters.

I’m not sure where the Bloc Quebecois figures in this latest poll, but other polls put them nationally at 8% and make them the clear leader in Quebec, where they have polled 30% to 40% throughout 2008.

Sadly, if the outcome of the expected election corresponds to polling numbers, the pro-war parties (Liberals, Conservatives) will prevail and the Canadian misadventure (I’m overly kind here — strike that — the Canadian crime against humanity) in Afghanistan will continue unchecked.

Earlier this year the Tories and the Libs voted to extend the war to 2011. To their credit, the NDP and the Bloc voted against this motion. The NDP has long called for withdrawal of our troops. Goodonya!

Shamefully, the Greens probably would have voted with the majority in Parliament if they could have. The Green Policy on Afghanistan is a hopelessly naive, goody two-shoes piece of drivel; it’s clear they do not understand that the invasion was driven by American strategic interests and that ANY continued Canadian military involvement is criminal.

Jack, for those of us who oppose the war, the projected outcome of the election is depressing. Our tax dollars and our soldiers will continue to kill thousands of Afghans; our troops will continue to come home dead, injured, and psychologically damaged. Grieving families will suffer for decades. Billions of dollars will be diverted from Canada’s social programs. There will be no winners.

It does not have to be this way. But for things to change, Canadians will have to set aside some bad habits, such as voting Liberal because they can’t stand the Tories and the NDP. Canucks of the Green persuasion will have to ask themselves whether Canadian complicity in imperialism, however compassionately expressed, really reflects their values.

For this to happen, the NDP has to put the war on the front-burner.

That is where you come in, Jack. The war is a hot-button issue, but you would never know it when you visit the federal NDP homepage. A casual visitor could be forgiven for thinking the NDP’s top priorities are text messaging, Facebook and Flickr. While the party is on record as opposing the war, you have to search to find anything substantial.

Afghanistan is THE defining issue in the coming election, Jack. You need to remember that and hammer the point home at every opportunity.

Don’t be bashful, Jack. The majority of Canadians are with you on this one.

Promise to bring our troops home, now. Promise to work for peace in Afghanistan and around the world. Promise to channel humanitarian aid to Afghanistan that doesn’t support the Karzai gang. Promise to invest serious dollars in supporting the soldiers and families in Canada who have been destroyed by this war. Promise to end this disaster before it grows even larger.

These are dangerous times, Jack. I’m with you on the environment, but I fear a nuclear war more.  Pull Canada’s navy out of the Arabian sea. Denounce the “war on terror” for the sham that it is. Oppose the plans for war with Iran. Canada has to take a stand against militarism and for peace, and you can make it happen. You must.

For all of our sakes, don’t let us down.


Paul Graham
Winnipeg, MB

  1. Beijing York says:

    Bravo! I feel the same way and receiving an election readiness appeal yesterday that uses the ATM fees as a gimmick for recommended donations does not inspire any confidence.

  2. John W says:

    Layton never acts on the basis of principle only for political advantage and expediency.

    He does not have the courage to make Afghanistan his central issue and push it full out for an entire campaign.

    A disgrace to the memory of Woodsworth, Coldwell, Douglas, Lewis etc.

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