Further to this, astute tweeter Steve Lloyd points out that Stephen Harper was specifically addressed in the House about this matter of the CCF and World War II. “The leader of the CCF at the time, who was a pacifist on principle, voted against the declaration of war on Germany in 1939,” Bill Blaikie informed him, “but the rest of the CCF caucus at the time voted for it.” Mr. Harper responded as follows.
Mr. Speaker, I will not debate every historical point. I will just point out that the NDP’s tradition of pacifism has a tendency to go much farther than that. The NDP missed Saddam Hussein in 1991, just as it is missing him today. We all remember that. For much of the cold war, that party missed or downplayed the evil represented by the Soviet empire. As the member concedes, the NDP leader of the day did miss the threat posed by Adolf Hitler. I would concede the CCF voted for the war at the very end. I do not know what it did during the 1930s, but I do remember well my father and grandfather and relatives telling me how during the 1930s people of that persuasion ignored the evils of Adolf Hitler and told them that Adolf Hitler was just helping the German working man and this kind of thing. And it is even today. The NDP has a history of this. At these kinds of moments, it not only has a history of being on the wrong side of the issue, but as it has done in the House today, it targets all its criticisms at the good guys and all its criticisms at what they may do. I urge the NDP to reconsider, to consider how serious the threat of Saddam Hussein is for the world and for Iraq and to stand by the removal of that regime.
Mr. Harper was, that day, making the case for war with Iraq. Indeed, just moments before this exchange with Mr. Blaikie, Mr. Harper had finished delivering his famously plagiarized speech on the issue.