The whole criticism is so lame and intellectually bankrupt that it is almost a waste of time to discuss it. I think an MP from the NDP said they would move on from the issue instead of wasting time on non-substantive debates.
To name just a few problems with the criticism:
1. CCF did not exist in 1939.
2. Woodsworth was indeed a staunch pacifist, but many members of his party were not. His dedication to pacifism, in light of the desires of the rest of the party, is at least partly the reason why he sought to step down from the CCF in the early 40's.
3. Is the entire party to be impugned for the beliefs of an individual?
4. Do beliefs in the past, held by an individual or collective, reflect at all on the validity of the argument at present?
Harper learned so much from his earlier losses. He learned how important message control and "framing" are to your political success. It is ultimately to the detriment of our democracy if we fail to see through such thinly-veiled, ideological poppycock.