The federal New Democrats were quickest off the mark on the ongoing issue of bank-machine fees earlier this year, even drafting a bill against them.
And now the NDP is going after this idea of charging cellphone customers for text messages.
It's a petition campaign — "Stop the Text Message Grab."
Both of these are smart gambits, designed to get the NDP into the fray over who best speaks for the middle class in Canada. This is precious electoral territory, and Conservatives have big designs on those voters, too.
Meanwhile, however, in the current issue of This Magazine, James Laxer has taken another big whack at NDP leader Jack Layton. Laxer has long been a vocal critic of the way the New Democrats have banded with the Conservatives to label the Liberals as the number-one enemy of both.
In this latest essay, Laxer argues that Canada needs the NDP's ideas more than ever these days, but the party itself is too preoccupied with electoral strategy and gains.
Laxer ends his piece on an optimistic note, however: "I haven't given up hope for Jack Layton in all this. Whatever his shortcomings, Layton is by far the most accomplished leader in federal politics today, with a program that makes far more sense for Canadians than the alternatives.... An upheaval could do him good, but don't count on him to start it. That's up to the rest of us."