In Parliament yesterday, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair asked PM Stephen Harper whether or nor Canadian special forces would stay in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 withdrawal deadline. Harper’s answer: “The leader of the NDP, in 1939, did not even want to support war against Hitler.” The trouble is: There was no NDP in 1939. There was, however, the NDP’s predecessor, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). The leader in question is J.S. Woodsworth, who died in 1942.
The CCF and the newly formed Canadian Labour Congress combined forces to launch the NDP in 1961. And the great Tommy Douglas, who had served as CCF premier of Saskatchewan since 1944, became the NDP’s new leader.
And to Harper, this is all: “Okay, it was the CCF, same difference. Parties do change their names from time to time.” Seriously, who voted for this guy? Any ways, that’s how the #HarperHistory hashtag was born.