April 24, 2011

Media release: Afghanistan facts

Communist candidate rejects misleading accusation on Afghanistan, states truth about NDP policy
At the Rossbrook House all-candidates debate on April 12, NDP Winnipeg Centre candidate Pat Martin accused Communist Party candidate Darrell Rankin of being “not factual” about the NDP record on Afghanistan. Martin unfairly attacked the candidate through the misrepresentation of important facts. “I am not saying Mr. Martin is a liar, but voters should not believe a word he says about his party’s position on Afghanistan,” said Rankin.

Pat Martin’s accusation against the Communist Party in Winnipeg Centre continues to be the subject of public discussion, for example on the Winnipeg Centre Liberal candidate’s website.
“I am repeating through this statement what I said at the meeting, that the NDP voted with the Conservatives to defeat a Liberal motion in 2007 that would have ended Canadian combat operations in Afghanistan in February 2009,” said Rankin. “The vote might have toppled the Conservative government, countless Canadian troops and Afghans would still be alive, and the threat of a Conservative majority government would be diminished because of principled cooperation on the pivotal issue of war and peace.”

“Instead, the NDP followed the path of narrow parliamentary opportunism to defeat the Liberal Party.”

Martin offered to speak with Rankin and others at the forum who raised different issues after the forum, but left immediately on adjournment. “I am ready to discuss this matter with Mr. Martin at any time,” said Rankin.

“Actions speak louder than words about the NDP’s position on Afghanistan, in Parliament and where the NDP has power, such as in Manitoba,” said Rankin. “It was pointed out at the forum that the NDP provincial government had a sign in front of the Legislature to “support the troops,” which actually means to support the war, and that it had school children sign yellow ribbons in schools to glorify the occupation of Afghanistan.”

The Communist Party campaign in Winnipeg Centre adds:

- We are aware only of two motions made by the NDP about Afghanistan in the House of Commons since 2001, both were made in 2007, and both were “to begin to withdraw” and “to begin withdrawing Canadian Forces… from the counter-insurgency mission in Afghanistan.”

- Both motions failed to call for immediate withdrawal and allowed for troops to have a non-combat, training role in Afghanistan.

- What matters is that Parliamentary motions have the force of law and must say what is actually intended. The wording of the NDP motions is the most important criteria for people to understand the actual position of the NDP.

- By this measure, it took the NDP Parliamentary caucus eight months to violate the September 2006 NDP Convention resolution for Canada to leave Afghanistan immediately, a resolution that had the support of 90 per cent of delegates.

- These motions are more important than any other position by the NDP since 2001.

The Communist Party will always defend its record of speaking the truth about Canada’s foreign policy regardless of the source of the attack.

For further information, please contact the Communist Party campaign in Winnipeg at (204) 586-7824 or 792-3371.

Manitoba Committee, Communist Party of Canada
387 Selkirk Ave. Winnipeg, MB R2W 2M3
cpc-mb@mts.net; (204) 586-7824


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