The hard left and their effective leaders Libby Davies and Megan Leslie represent the zealous activists who do lots of the party legwork during elections, and they make up a core part of NDP support. But by appealing to the nutcase left, the NDP simultaneously alienates voters who aren't ideologically rabid fanatics. To make the NDP more palatable to sane voters, Mulcair has done some work to sanitize the party, recently keeping hateful anti-Israel candidates like Paul Manly from seeking the party's nomination for a federal seat. But he also has to tread the fine line of continuing to engage the NDP's worst elements.
Davies severely embarrassed her party and ruined an opportunity for the NDP to capitalize on the Conservative and previous Liberal governments' handling of the Afghan file by become a major distraction with her anti-Israel rhetoric in 2010. In a statement made to a citizen journalist in a YouTube video, Davies' effectively said that Israel had no legitimacy as a country. The upheaval that report caused in the media and among her own party led to Davies being condemned by Mulcair and a humiliating pilgrimage by the late NDP leader Jack Layton to Israel's ambassador in Canada to apologize for her comments.
In the aftermath of that 2010 catastrophe for the NDP, Davies was told in no uncertain terms by the party leaders, including Mulcair, to stay away from commenting on international issues that had no bearing on her brief as Health Critic. But among the many things of which Libby Davies can be accused, being bright or good at impulse control are not among them. Davies continued to occasionally veer into outbursts about Israel, such as with her support for the Sea Hitler flotilla that attempted to break the arms embargo of the terror group Hamas.
Now, just days after NDP leader Mulcair issued a balanced call for the cessation of hostilities and blamed Hamas for the continuation of violence, Davies is undermining her party leader by endorsing a petition which places all the blame for the Gaza crisis on Israel.
Composed by her fellow NDP Sea Hitler supporter, Quebec MP Alexandre Boulerice, the petition completely neglects to mention Hamas but does state: "There is only one solution to achieve this for both Palestinians and Israelis: putting an end to the occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza. " Absent from Boulerice's and Davies' reasoning is that the blockade of Gaza was caused by the launch of missiles from it and the fact that it is controlled by a terror group committed to not only the elimination of Israel but the murder of any Jew it can find. The West Bank occupation continues, despite many offers that would have given the Palestinians a state of their own, because no Palestinian leadership has been found that would negotiate in good faith.
The Davies wing of radicals within the NDP want to use Israel as a dagger to stab Thomas Mulcair in the back. Whether Mulcair can strike a balance with them, is undermined by them, or is forced to discipline them is something that will be a very interesting situation to watch unfold in the coming months before the next election.