Monday, December 04, 2006

Layton's Eternal Game Face

Watching Question Period, it was interesting to hear Harper and Duceppe congratulate Dion in a respectful manner. I find it refreshing when politicans put down the swords for a nano-second and show a human side. With this sentiment in mind, I must say I found Layton's behavior particularly boorish. Layton said nothing about Dion, but instead took the opportunity to take a quick shot at the former Environment Minister.

Would a simple congratulations have mattered to the NDP in the grand scheme? Are vital votes on the line if Layton forgets about politics for a moment? This minor incident affirms a central point about Layton, every word, every angle, always comes through the political antenna. Layton's failure to congratulate Dion, a simple gesture, reflects badly on him. Duceppe hates Dion, Harper hates Liberals, yet they showed decorum in the H of C. Layton saw opportunity, which ironically further cements my rationale why he will forever be a bit player. The NDP deserves better, Canadians like the ideas, but reject the snake oil.


knb said...

This minor incident affirms a central point about Layton

I don't see it as minor Steve. That was a huge, laying your cards on the table, for all to see.

The NDP were attacking Dion within minutes of his election. Olivia Chow was especially caustic. "All Liberal's are corrupt, blah, blah, blah."

What Layton showed us today was just how threatened he is by the Lib' the point that he said "big ass" rather than "big gas" in his question to Harper.

Can you spell worried....yep, Layton.

You're right about Duceppe and Harper though, actually all the candidates received applause from the House, which was nice.

Anonymous said...

Layton and the dippers will do everything in their power in order to, Nader-like, ensure a Conservative majority.

He and they still have the delusions that led them to help Steve collapse the last Liberal government - the delusion that they could supplant the party that has governed Canada for the majority of it's existence.

Think of the extraordinary hubris that takes. Unprecedented in our political history. Of the same quality as delusionary conservatives. And the delusion remains utterly unaffected by anything happening on the ground.

Polling numbers stuck in neutral? We're taking over from the Liberals! Not attracting any new quality candidates? We're taking over from the Liberals! No one showing up at party events? We're taking over from the Liberals!

We've got a government built around delusions about Canada's desire for a hard right turn and one opposition party built around delusions about their own relevance.

Steve V said...


I actually thought Harper's response to Layton's ass comment was funny.


"We've got a government built around delusions about Canada's desire for a hard right turn and one opposition party built around delusions about their own relevance."

Excellent synopsis :)

Anonymous said...

Good points here. Let's remember that Harper has to go and that one of the tasks towards achieving that goal is to take care of the NDP at the same time.

We have to deal with Duceppe as well, however, it is Layton who has the opportunity to keep us from a majority and we must go after him with equal vigour. No more lending our votes!


wilson61 said...

Jack and PMSteve make a good team! Dipper + Con should give us a well balanced parliament.

Scotian said...

I was quite disgusted by Layton in QP today, I mean Harper congratulates the new Liberal leader politely before going on the attack, Duceppe does the same, and what does Layton do? Why he takes a cheap shot as his congratulations. This is in part a good example of why I refuse to support the NDP while he is leader, and why I could not vote for my NDP MP last time out despite my having a great deal of personal and professional respect for her and having voted for her prior to then. He is too focused on his idea of supplanting the Liberals as the alternate governing party to recognize the threat Harper's CPC is to the fundamental principles and policies the NDP has fought to put in place since its birth. He is too willing to use any and all smears he can come up with and does so in a rather (to me and my wife anyways) smarmy attitude, and he appears incapable of acting beyond partisan political calculus and instead stand for principle especially if it might have some negative political fallout.

As I think I have made clear in the past I dislike Layton intensely, both because I think he is too willing to embrace expediency in the pursuit of power and because I find him to be the first NDP leader willing to place the quest for seats over the defence of the principles and policies the NDP have stood for throughout their history on the federal stage. What I saw today only underscored that as well as underscored his truly petty nature underneath that car salesman veneer he wears.

No, I don't like Layton and the NDP will not get my vote while he is leader, not after what I watched him act like over the last year and a half to two years now. I think he is selling out the NDP I respected as a principles before seats party and for not going after the real threat to social justice/values in this country, the Harper configured/run CPC.

Northern BC Dipper said...

Layton's failure to congratulate Dion

Would a simple congratulations have mattered to the NDP in the grand scheme?

What are you talking about?

The NDP and Jack Layton did give our congratulations to Dion.

That's better than what the Conservatives did.

Nice attempt at spin, though.

Scotian said...

Northern BC Dipper:

If you bothered to read what was written you would have known this was referring to the opening in Question Period in the House when each party leader rose for the first time to ask (Harper's case "answer") questions. This is the discourtesy being discussed, and it was tacky indeed for Layton to be the sole party leader to show such discourtesy. The polite congratulations during the first QP for a new party leader is traditional in our politics, something Layton and apparently yourself were unaware of, which does not speak well to your or Layton's knowledge/understanding of Parliamentary traditions and protocols.

Nice attempt at spin/deflection on your own behalf though...

Anonymous said...

Now we have dipper fanatics ignoring the substance of the conversation in order to try and change it to one more of their liking.

I thought the cons were alone in that but it seems the dippers are going to pull that page out of the con playbook too.

knb said...

Interesting to see NDPer's defending the bad behaviour of their leader, in the same manner that the conservative's do their's.

One observation I have is, the more mean-spirited the con's and NDP become, the more the quality of a leader like Dion will stand out. Two parties look petty, one looks principled.

Steve, I thought Harper's come back was good too. The man does surprise me with wit sometimes.

Olaf said...


I completely agree, and Harper's retort was extremely witty as far as it goes (which is to say, it's the best we can expect of the man and should cherish such mildly humorous comments when they present themselves).

It was also funny when he said that he hopes Stephane is comfortable in Stornoway, and hopes he'd be comfortable staying there for a long time. It was quite refreshing to see the children dropping the self-righteous outrage for a second and kid around a bit.

This is how the first 15 minutes of question period should work. The most shocking is when the Speaker actually makes sure they answer the questions on topic.

Steve V said...


What great theater! I wish we could have detailed exchanges like that in our House.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever watched Brad Lavigne (NDP strategist)? He's on something I'm sure - so hyper.

Now, have you looked at the NDP caucus? They don't smile much. Everyone in the world is wrong but them. They desperately need renewal. They are still in the 60-70's hippie protest mode and haven't figured out it's 2006. This isn't nice, but they don't even know how to dress - what's with their black-shirts and colourful ties (I think that was 70-eary 80's dress).

Angry, pouting, bash and attack is all they've got - speaks volumes. They are an outdated party now.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget - they keep using Tommy Douglas' name - the party of Tommy Douglas.

Layton is no Tommy Douglas. Tommy Douglas formed a coalition at one time with Trudeau in order to protect social programmes - this is principle and a man of class.

Layton is a cheap (yes, he's very cheap and he probably wants to live in Stornoway because of the perks and it's feel). He got caught by the press when he was on Toronto council living is subsidized housing (he and Olivia at the time were making over $120,00 between them.) He was suspended when on Toronto Council as well because instead of attending council meetings he was out protesting with the Eaton workers - this is PM material? I don't think so.

Layton is a sleaze and the NDP have to get rid of them. I don't know why they didn't pick a very respected and experience man like Bill Blaikie - oh yes, there is the question about the "electronic" voting isn't there? Even Blaikie was angry.

Mark Dowling said...

Just shows that the notion of "all progressive together" is bunk. The Dippers are in it for themselves.

With Dion and May stripping away environmentally aware voters, the CAW should be expecting some grovelling from Layton any minute now. The NDP are looking like being squeezed and I suspect at the next election that May will get far more time than Jim Harris ever did even if she doesn't get into the leader's debate.

If Dion and May spent a bit of time in BC soon the NDP seats out there might get wobbly.

the wrestler said...

Which party has a supporter of torture in its front benches?

Steve V said...

"Which party has a supporter of torture in its front benches?"

Not sure, but I know it feels like torture to watch that peacock preen around everyday during Question Period.

the wrestler said...

Is any "coercive interrogation" being applied to make you watch that stuff?

Or do you consider it a kind of "permissible duress" you voluntarily endure?

Iggy is the gift that just keeps on giving.

mwrm said...


Pretty impressive headline reading going on you actually know anything about Iggy.

Perhaps read one of his books and make your own conclusion, rather than spouting off Conservative propoganda.

Furthermore...what does this have to do with Dion and the lack of congratulation by Layton in QP?