Friday, April 13, 2007

Dion/May Criticism

Jack Layton, comments on the May/Dion alliance:
NDP Leader Jack Layton says a deal between the Liberal and Green Party leaders will deny Canadian choices in the next federal election.
Layton says he's surprised and disappointed that supposedly principled politician like Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has "so quickly slipped into the muck of backroom wheeling and dealing."

I don't want this to be a partisan argument, because I respect many of the NDP supporters, but the above is weak at best. I have also heard the same type of criticisms from Conservatives. Tories will react in their typical way, but the NDP should take the high-road here, and resist criticizing May. Why? It's a tough sell, trying to convince voters that May is a political opportunist, who sacrifices principle for expediency.

If May were truly worried about her own fortunes, then why in the hell would she decide to run in a riding that gives her little realistic chance of winning? May's decision stands as one of the most apolitical moves I can remember. In fact, if I were a Green strategist, I would characterize that decision as politically naive, bordering on stupidity. The goal is to get Greens in parliament, particularly the leader, there were MANY other options that afforded May a real opportunity. The fact that she chose MacKay's riding serves as proof positive, this woman isn't a political animal in the traditional sense. With this reality as backdrop, any attempt by others to paint May as a "backroom" operator has zero legs. In fact, and this is the danger for the NDP, any attacks on May personally will simply look like sour grapes.

Canadians are sick and tired of partisan politics, as many in the NDP constantly remind us. I would suggest that May's approach as leader of the Greens represents a new style, that Canadians will find refreshing. I had wondered if May's decision to work with Dion was a good thing for the Greens. However, when you think about it, what better way to signal to Canadians that there is another option, that enters the political arena with a different mindset. Working together beyond partisanship, possibly undermining self-interest for a larger goal, those are themes that objectively play well, with a public whose cynicism is well-documented. After recent events, no one can say the Green Party is same old, same old.

The early Conservative attacks are downright amusing at this point. The Liberal Party is no longer a national entity, because it takes a pass on .29% of all available ridings. Yep, that will fly for sure, clearly a regional entity now, only Harper can speak for the whole country.

The other angle, Dion is disenfranchising Liberal voters in Central Nova, democracy is the victim. Not quite, Dion is endorsing May, she is essentially the defacto Liberal choice. If voters disagree, then there are other options available, and if voters feel slighted, the Liberal Party will pay a price. Sounds fine from here, particularly in a riding that is hardly a Liberal stronghold. For a party that has an unelected Minister at present, it might be better not to trumpet the idea of fair representation, lest the hypocrisy be to pointed.

My advice to Layton, take the high road and don't risk looking too partisan, especially when the whole "arrangement" will be framed as apolitical. Wish May luck, and fight her tooth and nail, in a riding the NDP could well win. My advice to Conservative critics, keep trying :) Does anyone really believe Conservative strategists were smiling when they heard the news? Exactly, and that's the only point in my mind.


ottlib said...

Neither Jack Layton, Peter MacKay or Stephen Harper were smiling when this story broke.

The support for the NDP has ebbed and flowed since its creation. I personally believe it has entered another period of ebbing. The NDP could always take solace in knowing that no matter how much their support eroded there was no other party that could replace them as the "third party". Ms. May and the Greens could change all of that. If Canadians begin to believe there is a credible option to the NDP any erosion in their support could find them as the fringe party. A situation I believe will happen as long as Jack Layton is leader btw.

Peter MacKay cannot be happy because he has one less party to split the progressive vote in his riding. Ms. May is well liked and credible and if the voters are really fed-up with the established parties, as we have been hearing for awhile, the voters of Central Nova have a credible candidate they can choose to vote for to send that message.

Mr. Harper cannot be happy because this agreement increases the chances of the environment being a key election issue. Although, he has made some progress to neutalize his vulnerability on this issue he has not been completely successful so having it as a key election issue in to his disadvantage, especially in Quebec, Ontario and BC.

Steve V said...

People have argued that the environment won't be the primary issue in the campaign. That might be true, but to say it won't be an issue is patently stupid, particularly when we know there will be a striking difference in the Tory and Liberal approaches. It will be an issue, and I tend to think it will be a bigger factor, given today's announcement.

Anonymous said...


It's calling a spade, a spade.

Layton pulled the plug on the Liberals in 2005, after co-operating on the budget months earlier. Then, he went on the campaign trail asking Canadian progressives to lend him a vote by supporting for the NDP.

Well, this agreement means one thing. Dion telling Jack, no deals with the NDP with you as the leader.

The NDP bloggers are unhappy about this, although they may benefit in having an extra seat in Nova Scotia. The Dippers are in danger of losing the environment issue. It may force Layton to support Harper's Clean Air Act as an initial step to regain credibility, or be attacked by the Liberals relentlessly for being soft on the environment.

Not good if you are a NDP sitting MP in the BC Interior, fighting tooth and nail for survival against the resurgent Green Liberals on the left and the rural friendly Harper government on the right.

lance said...

Mushroom said, "Not good if you are a NDP sitting MP in the BC Interior, fighting tooth and nail for survival against the resurgent Green Liberals on the left and the rural friendly Harper government on the right."

Shroom, you missed the most important point though. What about the Liberal in that rural BC riding?


The Jurist said...

Is there really any reason to think that May's choice to run in Central Nova was anything but an entirely crass political choice intended to curry favour with the Libs? Remember that the other seats that were linked to her all involved stronger Lib opponents (and indeed incumbents in a couple of cases), while Central Nova has been a Con/NDP fight over the past few elections. And now that the deal is public, it looks all the more likely that the choice was based on picking the highest-profile seat which the Libs would be willing to bail on.

Anonymous said...

The Liberal in that rural BC riding???

My response is this. Dion's BC people know who these candidates are. They are environmental friendly and subscribes to the ideals of May-Dion.

Good examples are candidates such as Joyce Murray in Quadra and Briony Penn in Saanich. And if the rural Liberals have problems with these candidates, then they are more than happy to join the old Harper-Layton alliance.

Steve V said...

the jurist

If that logic is true, then why did May run in a Liberal held seat during the by-election?

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

I'm far more convinced than you are that this was a bad idea, but I definitely agree with you that Layton needs to take the high road on this. Don't criticize May and Dion, just fight them in the riding like you would in any other election. In the end, the voters will decide (almost certainly for Peter MacKay).

Has he commented on this at all, by the way? I haven't seen a peep.

Anonymous said...

Just as it was far game over the last decade to assign guilt by association to the right, so shall it be visited on the left.

Anonymous said...

Well, if it is such a bad idea, why the press conferences and sad faces?

If it's a bad idea, then Layton and Harper wouldn't need to say a thing would they.

A case of "the lady doth protest too much"?

Liberal voters in NS might think that they could vote Green, because she would be supporting their Liberal leader.

canuckistanian said...

this is unambiguously good news for progressive voters. i hate political parties and the inexorable mindless partisanship they engender. mckay won't like this, the cons won't like the threat of a strong riding in play, and the ndp: who cares! they have made their bed, and now must lie in the political irrelevancy they have created for themselves. it is always funny to hear layton talk about how the paul martin budget was one of the parties greatest achievements. what an idiot!

and harper??? he won't like the potential for losing the riding of a well-known cab min; but it is pete mckay so he wouldn't be too upset to get rid of him.

Anonymous said...

when there is a bi-election as when stephen harper won the conservative leadership..the other party as with paul martin did not place a candidate up against him...before layton took over the ndp party and we were pals...we use to judge who was the most likely to win in a riding and then we would all vote for the one candidate...what are they raising all the stink about. I know this to be a fact as I am a liberal..two of my boys are NDP...and we all voted liberal so the cons would be out.

Scotian said...

Steve V:

First off, I want to say I am in agreement with you on this post and the prior one regarding the Dion-May alliance. This was smart for Dion, it looks bold and it also looks familiar to older voters, those of us that remember the days when opponents could work together on a larger than partisan issue/fight. We haven't been seeing that much lately on the progressive side of things, especially with Layton's last 18 months of playing with Harper because he saw it as the best chance to replace the Libs as the alternate governing party of Canadians. He rolled those dice, and it looks like it is coming up snake eyes for him and unfortunately his party. I say unfortunately because the federal NDP have done a lot of good in the past and still retain some very good people within their caucus my MP being one of them IMHO.

Unfortunately though for Layton, Harper is recognized these days by most progressive leaning voters as the primary threat to their principles and beliefs, and the fact that Layton has been more focused on the Liberals even *AFTER* they lost power as he has instead of the CPC as a primary focus has made clear what is more important to Layton and his NDP. He could get away with it while the Libs were the government, but once the CPC became the government, even in a minority, the fact that they still focused more on attacking the Liberals than the current government did not look good and indeed gave and continues to give the impression of a de facto alliance/agreement between Layton and Harper to focus first on their mutual foe the Liberals. Given that Harper is not a traditional Canadian Conservative (or even a traditional Canadian politician for that matter) and represents a threat unlike any we have seen in the past, given he acts and sounds like his GOP mentors and given the poor decisions Harper has made by using tools of government in blatantly partisan ways Layton has effectively written the NDP out as a safe choice for progressives.

Now, that does not mean the NDP just up and dies, I think it will retain its core voter base, partisans being partisans after all, and there is a lot of history to be proud of prior to the recent leadership. What I do think though is that several percentage points of the NDP vote tends to be swing voters of progressives and it is those that Layton may have cost his party next time out. This alliance between Dion and May makes her and the Greens more credible as an alternative choice, and she in turn helps reinforce Dion's environmental credentials AND illustrates his ability to work with people that do not always agree with him on issues as is the case with May. Not to mention underscoring the recognition of Harper and the CPC as the real threat to all progressives and not just linited to partisan politics alone. This when contrasted with the clear gop culture war politics Harper has been running I think will have an appeal many (especially CPCers) will find surprising come Election Day.

One thing though Steve V, I do not believe in absolutes, including in things with no downsides, and I suspect there is more risk in this action than you do. However, I do think overall the odds are in favour of this working to Dion's advantage and to Harper's disadvantage which is part of why I think this is a smart move. I also think reminding Canadians of what cooperative principled leadership looks like doesn't hurt either since neither Layton nor Harper have been providing much of an example of that. The fact that the bulk of the really negative reaction seems to have been from CPC and NDP sources also tends to indicate this is likely more of an advantage for the Libs than disadvantage, otherwise they would not be feeling quite as upset. Not to mention providing some rather weak responses so far, especially when you try to sound like you are concerned for the poor disenfranchised Liberals in the riding, that was just too much.

This has just made this political process that much more interesting, and destabilized one of Harper's aims, isolating the Libs from support, since the BQ never would and the NDP currently were actively at war with the Libs thanks to Harper's smart manipulation of Layton's own lust for power. May though just upset that apple cart and it will be very interesting to see how they try to deal with that.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen such fluff mascarading as intelligent discourse. This was the crassest of political moves by the Greens and Liberals and has everything to do with the growing vote universe of the NDP. Even if you take their comments on face value, the logic still doesn't work.
If they really wanted to stop the Conservatives why not go to a closer seat, say Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound where the Greens came in 3rd, behind the Liberals. That alliance might have worked. This is an attempt to push aside the NDP nothing more and I pedict will bite both of them on the behind. One thing May has proved. She will sell out her entire party, essentially saying anywhere but here vote Liberal, just to get herself a little old seat. It would be funny if the environmental stakes, which have just been damaged by this poor dispaly of partisan fervor, wheren't so high.
All those Green party supporters should go read the history of Hazen Argue and his attempt to do exactly what May is doing for the Liberals. To bad for the Greens that May is no Douglas. I was leaning Green, because I couldn't stomach voting Liberal, but the more I see of how ego-woman May operates the more it has pushed me to the decison that the election, when it comes, will mean voting NDP

knb said...

growing vote universe of the NDP

What alternate galaxy would that be in?

If you feel moved to vote NDP, terrific, but to suggest that May is doing this out of ego, versus the oh so "filled with humility" Jack Layton, well, that's just too rich.

I have many friends who are NDP, so I mean no disrespect for those who are members of the Party, but what I heard come out of Jack's mouth today was pure politics filled with fear.

The consummate deal maker is accusing Dion and May of making a deal, huh? He went further of course, having to drag the two leaders character into the mud with him.

It seems quite obvious to me that the con's and NDP are worried about this. The spin that we will witness over the next little while, will be something to behold.

I think what they have chosen to do is risky, but I'm okay with that. Both Dion and May feel the future of the country is at stake and I agree with them.

Too bad Layton doesn't agree, because then it would be bye-bye MacKay, for sure.

Anonymous said...

Of course you didn't address the issue of why Central Nova and not a riding where there was an actual mathematical chance of May winning. Couldn't be that would be because it might upset the Liberals.

You clearly don't understand the term 'vote universe'. It means those voters who would be prepared to vote NDP under certain circumstance as compared to those who would never consider it. If you look at the polling data across a number of companies, the NDP universe (ie potential) is quite large. It is not the same as the polling numbers. That is the number the insiders look at during strategizing session and I would submit that is the number that is scaring the heck out of Dion and May. This is crass partisan politics at its down and dirtiest nothing more. It would seem both Dion and May learned from their old political bosses. Attacking like this is some bold step for the future is laughable and displays an ignorance of history. Look up Hazen Argue, look up WL Mackenzie King and the Progressives. We have been here, done that before.
The real score today is Crass Politics 1-
Environment- no score.

knb said...

anon, I was being sarcastic and require no lessons, thank you.

As to the riding, I believe her when she says she feels connected there. She also points to the fact that having MacKay in Government has not been of any benefit to the riding, nor the province.

Speaking of which, I just can't wait to see what the con's offer the region in the next little know that's coming.

Bottom line, I'm not naive enough to ignore the politics, but the sincerity of these two is hands down more apparent than Jack's.

I respect your position but disagree. As to your final score, how would you call it if this works?

Who was May's former political master btw?

Anonymous said...

May worked for the Minister of the Environment under Mulroney and has been all over the moon positive about him.

I could name a whole number of ridings that the 'McKay is no good' criteria would work for, in hands of all parties. I still think there is zero sincerity. And that it is naive to think they is a dram of sincerity in a failed environment minister and a leader of a party that is saying - hey these Liberals are okay, so vote for them in other ridings too. That's the message and the logic like it or not. If they are so great. Be really bold, fold up the Greens - merge with the Liberals and have done with it. But of course this isn't about values, or issues or anything, but turf work. If so the choice would not be Central Nova. Plain and simple.
Nor do I see, even if McKay is defeated how it helps. All it does would be consolidate Harper's power, no heir apparent, and it is going to take a lot more than that to take down the Harper government. So yep- still think all in all today's score is still
Crass Politics 1
our environmental future- no score.

By the way I have been a long time grass roots environmental activist. I have spent the last number of years knowing the Liberals talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. Now to my disappointment I find that that's okay with May. I'm not lovin' Jack so much as left with a none of the above option now.

knb said...

May worked for the Minister of the Environment under Mulroney and has been all over the moon positive about him.

Political master? Now that would be a bit misleading, no? She was a lawyer, who advised the Environment Minister and quit when dam projects were going forward without environmental assessment. She did indeed give Mulroney credit for his initiatives, wouldn't someone concerned with environment give kudos to a government when they do something right?

How exactly was Dion a failed Environment Minister, given his tenure. Oh, it's all the fashion now to blame the entire Liberal record on Dion, but any thinking person knows that is rhetoric.

For the record, I think the Liberals should be criticised for their long delay and inaction, but Dion took that head on and got to work. That was then, this is now.

If this does work, I think you're wrong in your assessment of the outcome. Consolidate Harper's power? Perhaps in one sense, but MacKay is in no way, Harper's heir apparent, imo. Oh and speaking of backroom deals to all the con's out there, Orchard/MacKay ring a bell?

Anyway, I think the outcome, in spite of your new assessment of May, is that she is one of the most respected Environmentalists that we have in Canada. Imagine if Suzuki jumped aboard? They both want Dion to do more, but they see him as committed and honest.

I heard May say that she's put many calls into Layton's office and he does not return them? Why is that? (This goes back to when she was elected to the present.)

As I said, I respect your opinion, but mine is that Jack Layton is one of the most vainglorious politicians I've ever seen. He's not about principle, he's about Jack looking good. Sadly, he looks as mean and ugly as the con's while he yanks the sheets over to his side of the bed he's lying in with them.

The Jurist said...

If that logic is true, then why did May run in a Liberal held seat during the by-election?

Might that have something to do with the fact that only two seats were open for the by-elections, the other in Quebec where May would have to do most of her campaigning in her second language? I'd think we can distinguish between May's selection of seats when she can choose any in the country, and her selection given only those two options...

Steve V said...


I didn't really mention the risks, because they are self-evident. I'm taking the risk-reward equation, given Dion's current standing, I find it hard to condemn this as a bad move.


"Well, if it is such a bad idea, why the press conferences and sad faces?"

Yes, why the quickly held pressers? Why did the government find it necessary to grab Monte Solberg and put him in front of a mic, was he the only Minister in Ottawa? That suggests a need for damage control, and it also speaks to how serious they take this new threat.

I just caught some more of Layton's comments, and it was the low road, sprinkled with a bitter tone, hardly attractive, and again quite telling.

"I have spent the last number of years knowing the Liberals talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. Now to my disappointment I find that that's okay with May."

It's not just May, many prominent environmentalists had nothing but praise for Dion in the final days of the Liberal reign. I agree the Liberals failed for the most part, but Dion seemed to maintain some credibility with the environmental community, which is relevant to what is going on here. Bottomline, Elizabeth May doesn't go within a nautical mile of Dion if she genuinely sees a mere talking the talk scenario. If people try to teardown May as a political opportunist, they will find she has allies who can speak to conviction. People can chirp about being "environmental activists", I've done a thing or two as well, but I doubt they can come close to May's pedigree, so questioning her motivations is lame at best in my mind.

Steve V said...


I don't think May's decision to run against MacKay was particularly wise, but I take her reasoning at face value, without prescribing all these hidden motivations. The reason I like May is because she is forthright, you don't get the sense of internal calculation in her comments, and she represents a breath of fresh air in Canadian politics. I believe May, call me naive, but that's the sense I get.

knb said...

That's really it Steve. May call's it as she see's it and it is tough to argue with that.

There are many things I disagree with her on, as I'm sure Dion does, but hell, I disagree with family members too. On the points that are bigger than us, we agree and can put aside the rest to that end.

It was sad how Layton reacted wasn't it? I had hoped that he wouldn't stoop that low, though I cannot say I held out much expectation. I really think he's put that party in jeopardy now. That's too bad because I think there is a place for the NDP, Jack I think, forgot what that was and got too mired.

I wish I knew how that seems to happen to so many. Better yet, I wish I knew the secret of keeping your feet on the ground, because I'd bottle it.

I think most of us are tired of the games and politicians treating serious issues as if it were a game. I don't think Dion and May did that today. There is politics involved, to be sure, but it was serious and it was not a game.

Steve V said...

Hey knb. I don't understand Layton here, I think he is very shortsighted. Why wouldn't you want to talk with May? If the public face of mutual co-operation on the environment to "get things done" is true, then it would seem to me you would be open to all possiblities, if it had the chance of moving the agenda. Simply scoffing is bullshit, and it speaks volumes to what is really going on here. The NDP hierarchy has determined the Greens are a threat, and they will resist any commonality, because their chief concern is seat totals. I'm sorry, but Layton's rhetoric looks exactly that, rhetoric, that shows no resemblance to the reality. Newsflash, despite the protests, the NDP is just as politically motivated and calculating as those dastardly Liberals and Conservatives.

If you're smart, you engage May, knowing that there is some chemistry with the Liberals. You undercut Dion, and make the case in talks with the Greens. If May offers a dialogue, you jump all over it. Instead, we get piss and vinegar, as though there is only one group of progressives. Layton doesn't seem to have any problems with backroom talks when it comes Harper. What, those two haven't talked strategy? Come on.

joe said...

Speaking of short sighted here; does Dion have political advisors to whom he listens or is this folly of his own making? It has all the short sighted markings of the Paul Martin meltdown where every fight was so important that the battle was lost. This will only serve to drive Liberal supporters to other parties or else to sit on their hands until the disaster that is Dion's leadership is relegated to the garbage heap of political history. Nothing personal against Dion but his political tin ear is evident again and it does not serve the party he is leading at all. All the spin in the world will not wipe out the fact that Dion wants a member from another party in parliment rather than a member of the party who put him into the position of leadership. Then when you think who Dion is wanting in parliment - the elected leader of a national political party who says that she is not good enough to be Prime Minister so vote for someone else. Liberal leader Dion says you can't vote Liberal in Central Nova and Green leader May says don't vote Green nationally because I wouldn't be as good a leader as Dion. It doesn't work and it will only weaken Dion's grasp on the Liberal leadership and if May retains the leadership of the Greens it will be because no one else wants the job.

knb said...

Strategically speaking, you're right Steve as it relates to Layton.

Strictly speaking however, if you really cared about getting things done re' the environment, then you would join May and Dion in this riding and together, continue to go forward with your own platforms on this issue throughout the country, all the while being clear that Harper does not have a plan and having him in government leads us nowhere.

I mean come on, only 30 something per cent of voters back Harper, but the rest of the country does not and this should be cited by all progressives, while trying to obtain their seats. That would be honest and I think that is what May and Dion put forward.

Layton is blinded at the moment and perhaps for all time.

As I said, the consummate deal maker calling a deal "sordid". Too rich.

knb said...

joe, nice try.

Steve V said...

There is a Ralph Nader quality developing here for Layton. The funny part, Dion is getting criticized for moving the Liberals left, and we have a government that is every bit as right as the American neocons, yet we are to believe the Layton "all the same" arguments. That simply doesn't pass the smell test anymore, given the players. Martin, you could at least say it with a straight face, Dion, oh come on now. If the NDP digs in here, they are on the highwire.

Steve V said...

Sorry, yes joe, nice try. He swings and misses :)

joe said...

Let's see most of media I have seen today have benn talking to liberals disaffected Dion just like they used to with the alliance members under Day. I don't think I missed on this one. This vindetta against Jack will not serve the liberals well at all. Win the battle lose the war.

Anonymous said...

Good going Dion and May It is morally the right thing and strategically also great..

65% has to win.. simply as save Canada …

I am Laughing hard when I see how all the guys on the other side is frothing and shouting and giving advise to Dion.. Like they want to save Him???l


Steve V said...

"I am Laughing hard when I see how all the guys on the other side is frothing and shouting and giving advise to Dion.. Like they want to save Him???l"


They are just trying to help, help their own cause that is.

Anonymous said...

I started looking around the net to see what kind of reactions there are and this is one of the strangest I have to say. Seems people here can't get pass their personal dislike of Jack Layton to see the big picture.
May and Dion come in as elitists. They don't get that people matter. This is not some kind of move to save the environment (read Chantel Hebert for example). This is about squeezing out the NDP for political advantage. The naivety is bizarre. How can you look at those comments from May and Dion and not see them for the unmitigated BS they are. And why should a party (the NDP) who has had to fight the Liberals hammer and tong to get any forward momentum on environmental issues now lay down and say -oh well vague half-promises are alright. The only person I see standing up for real change on the environment is Jack Layton. May has put her own personal ego ahead of the environment, her potential constituents and her party.
Shame on her for selling out for so little and supporting a party that is only slightly better in its RHETORIC on the environment than the current government.

Anonymous said...

In addittion to my comment. This is from today's editoral in that well known NDP rag the Toronto Star. (Rolly eye icon needed here)
"New Democrat Leader Jack Layton has denounced the pact as "backroom wheeling and dealing" that cheats the voters of a full range of choices. He is right. However much Canada may be threatened by climate change, limiting voters' options is not the way to combat it."

Anonymous said...

Yes I Know Steve V It is just self Defense of the "RIGHT" including the NDP /what is ONLY JACK at this moment ../what is willing to be propping up Harper and his few minions.. just to show for Martin (???) They CAN DO IT.. even if that means selling out all their ideas inherited from the old Democrats.. what a shame .!!! Jack is really the true VENDU and he is stuck with Harper now,,,, he did something what is unforgivable... and his party will repeat the Old Conservative's faith after Mulrony.. NDP sold its soul

Be aware I am good at predictions . /no I am not a witch …lololol

The Dion –May cooperation is really a turning point. Will have a Domino effect .

By the way Anonymous it would be a decent improvement t if you sign your real name besides of being ANON
Are you favoring the veils?? Or what,.??

marta from Vancouver

Robert the Bruce said...

Well there are a few anon and I am only the last two. I don't have a google account, and then I missed that I could post a name with option two. (I only figured it out now as a matter of fact.) So I will add it.

I'm not sure I can even follow your post. But you seem to be under impression that something has somehow been saved. This doesn't do anything but help the Greens and Liberals on a power squeeze. I'm a complete nonpartisan environmental activist, but I have to say the only party in my neck of the woods that has actually proposed positive, practical change on the issues I care about was the NDP and I voted in the last election for them. In the last provincial Ontario election I voted Green becuase I really liked the local candidate. I'm just callin it like I see it without the silly partisan spin that would call someone who has dedicated his life to environmental issues long before they were fashionable a 'vendu' whether I agreed with his political philosophy or not

Steve V said...


I too have voted Green and NDP in the past, so partisanship doesn't really enter into my recent conclusion- Layton has engaged in a dangerous dance with Harper since prior to the last election, in some misguided attempt to undermine the Liberals and help his own electoral prospects. The entire "backroom" argument is intellectual dishonest, not to mention hypocritical, given the embarrassing partisanship Layton has continually engaged in.

I care about the environment, which is the primary reason I support this gathering. Rather than by cynicial, I see an opportunity, but it would appear others are more concerned about their own survival than the planet's. Answer the phone Jack.

Robert the Bruce said...

Well Layton has said May only ever contacted Stephen Lewis and staffers. So some one is lying. I guess we are just betting on different horse on who the liar is.
As well I don't buy into this Layton-Harper stuff that's just Liberal talking points, not reality. Layton showed leadership on the Clean Air Act in my mind forcing both the Conservatives and Liberals to put their money where the mouth is so to speak. What did Dion and May do instead, oh yeah play partisan politics with it. I'm looking for action not rhetoric. And as much as it suprises me, when I look at the reality if the deeds that's all May and Dion have on offer.

Steve V said...

"Well Layton has said May only ever contacted Stephen Lewis and staffers."

Broadbent seemed to know all about it, so I assume Layton did. It's splitting hairs in my mind, if there is an effort to speak on mutual causes, then Layton should at least meet. He didn't have any problem meeting with Harper on the CAA did he? And if this is all Liberal spin, then why have I heard many NDP supporters express concern at Layton's footsie with Harper. It was all very transparent from here, and you didn't need much of a critical eye to pickup on the "backroom" "muck". Layton has shown himself to be just as partisan as anyone, which makes the claims of a different standard all the more ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

May explicitly said "he wouldn't take my calls." Heard that one with my own ears. Either she's lying and never actually called Layton for him to refuse, or Layton and Lewis and Broadbent are. My money is on May having watched her on the choice issue spinning story after story.
That's not splitting hairs that is revealing in the extreme.

Robert the Bruce said...

wooops just figurng this out. Last post was from me

Steve V said...

Why go to Lewis, and not Layton? I'm not buying the logic. If she didn't go to Layton, it was because she was told in no uncertain terms, don't bother. She calls the leader of the Liberals, but she calls an old NDP supporter, instead of their leader? Sounds dysfunctional from here.

Anonymous said...


Lewis is the doyen of the NDP. There is an interest for Lewis, Broadbent, and Layton to dominate the party before it gets swallowed up by the Waffle fanatics.

On the one hand, I can see them laughing at the Liberals for making deals with Buzz Hargrove, Elizabeth May, Maude Barlow, and David Orchard to unite the left. But if these deals become an alternative left coalition, the three aforementioned Dippers will be scared as their support erodes.

Dion is taking a risk in forging this alternative left coalition. If he pulls through, you can see Dion in five years being as politically shrewd as PM Harper.