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November, 2012

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  Letter to the Editor


Dear Editor,


The Federal NDP has rightly come under suspicion for their puzzling position on national unity.


The NDPs current leader Thomas Muclair promotes an extreme policy that accepts a simple majority of 50 percent plus one vote to break up Canada should there be a referendum. No regard for voter turnout, no regard for the question posed, and no regard for the good of Canada, just a complete capitulation in order to pander for votes in Quebec.




The NDP call this policy the Sherbrooke Declaration.




Inexplicably, this dangerous policy does not apply to how the NDP handles their internal operations.  The Federal NDP requires a clear 66.6 percent majority vote to make changes to their internal constitution. And yet for Thomas Muclair and the current NDP, a 50 percent plus one vote is just fine to break up Canada.




The NDPís position on national unity is problematic. They claim that the Sherbrooke Declaration is consistent with Parliamentís Clarity Act. This is not true. It is in direct violation of the Federal Clarity Act and a ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada.




The Clarity Act is the law setting out the rules for any referendum. It is the law that mandates a clear question. It is a law that requires a clear expression of Quebecers intent. It is the law.




I was in Parliament during the Clarity Acts debates. I was proud to stand with Prime Minister Chretien and Stéphane Dion in support of clear rules meant to protect national unity. Back then, prominent members of the NDP like Ed Broadbent, Roy Romanow and Bill Blakie placed the unity of the country ahead of partisan interests. They supported the Clarity Act.




The new separatist government in Quebec will do what they can to break up Canada. The NDPís 50 percent plus one policy helps the separatists. It is wrong and dangerous. The pandering to get votes must stop. Political opportunism should never trump national unity.




Senator Jane Cordy


Nova Scotia