Canada notesThe New Democratic Party is offering an olive branch to the Conservatives. Several NDP MP's have offered to "pass," or abstain from voting on the budget in Ottawa next Thursday out of respect for the fact that a number of Tory MPs will be unable to be present by that time due to cancer treatments.
Some Americans may be familiar with this statesmanlike gesture. Sen. Joseph Biden (D) of Delaware once volunteered to "pass" out of respect for the ilness of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. Some Canadian Conservatives are wondering whether Opposition Leader Stephen Harper should agree to this, wondering what the NDP would want in return. However, I think it is a very statemanlike gesture for the NDP to make, it comes from some of the finest traditions of parliamentary civility, not to mention that it could help the Tories. Go ahead, let the NDP be statesmen for a day.