Last Friday, Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, said, with reference to Thomas Mulcair’s, the Leader of the Opposition’s (the NDP’s) position on the exit of Canadian troops from Afghanistan:
“Mr. Speaker, I have made myself very clear. Unlike the NDP, we are not going to ideologically have a position regardless of circumstances. The leader of the NDP, in 1939, did not even want to support war against Hitler.”
Mr. Harper was referring to J.S. Woodsworth, the leader of the CCF, the NDP’s predecessor. Woodsworth was a Christian pacifist, one of the few members of the CCF who opposed the war. His position cost him the leadership of the party.
This is what Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada at the time, had to say about J.S. Woodsworth:
“There are few men in this Parliament for whom I have greater respect than the leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. I admire him in my heart, because time and again he has had the courage to say what lays on his conscience, regardless of what the world might think of him. A man of that calibre is an ornament to any Parliament.”