Jack Layton’s last attack in the May 2011 was aimed squarely at Michael Ignatieff and his Liberals. Touting that the NDP had a superior attendance record, the NDP managed to aid the Harper Conservatives in an attempt to hammer a nail on the Liberal coffin. The NDP are having a leadership race and all of them are uninspiring and on top of that, they are all among the worst parliamentarians in terms of attendance.
Welcome to the next NDP campaign: Attacking the Liberals and Conservatives using false propaganda and on top of that, claiming they’re ready for the job when the same party pledged to make Ottawa more civil and charged that they had the perfect attendance, it appears that they have neither.
A Globe and Mail investigation reveals that 5 of the NDP’s 9 leadership hopefuls is in the top 10 worst attendance records in the House of Commons; two others were in the top 30 worst attendance records.
Rameo Saganash missed two-thirds, Thomas Mulcair missed more than half, placing second and fourth respectively in terms of worst attendance.
Now that their attendance records come back to bite them, they give the same argument that apparently failed for Michael Ignatieff – that they traveled, were talking to potential voters, and were working on other affairs related to their jobs.
While the NDP weren’t the only ones who have a bad habit of being absent, it is worth noting considering that they are the ones who made this an issue in the debates last April. The Conservatives, NDP, and Liberals share 30% of the top 30 worst attendance record slots.
Rae, who placed fifth worst, came out swinging and charging that his career isn’t only about attending votes.
“That is not a meaningful statistic, it is an irrelevant statistic,” Mr. Rae said of his 47 missed votes.
“I’m on the road, I’m rebuilding the party, I’m speaking across the country,” the Liberal Leader said. “I make no apologies. I turn up for work every day – it’s just that my work is not simply attending votes.”
Rae and other opposition MPs pointed out the worthlessness of voting in a majority government led by the Tories who are changing the ways things operate.
“To be perfectly frank and very blunt, when there is a majority government and there is absolutely zero prospect of the government changing its mind on a particular bill, voting is largely symbolic,” Mr. Rae said.
Nathan Cullen, an NDP leadership hopeful came in 6th worst attendance and said, “MPs have divided lives, it’s challenging. It’s a balancing act. I don’t know if have perfected it. I don’t think anyone has.”
Again, who made this an issue in the last election? The NDP. Who cannot live up to their rhetoric? The NDP. What goes around comes around, the NDP should have thought about this before making it a petty attack issue in the last election.