Sunday, April 15, 2007

"What The Hell Is Wrong With Jack Layton?"

Elizabeth May, asks a good question:
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says she's been trying for months to get the NDP to talk about ways the two parties can co-operate on shared priorities, but the party has kept the door firmly closed to her overtures.

She admitted she has been frustrated with Layton's lack of co-operation, and turned to her old friend Lewis to try and open up the lines of communication.

"What the hell is wrong with Jack Layton that he can't answer a phone call?" she said on CTV's Question Period.

"I don't understand this. He talks to Stephen Harper all the time. Surely, our shared values are much closer between the NDP and the Greens."

She said the two parties should have been able to put partisan politics aside and focus on their shared environmental priorities -- such as solving climate change and reaching Kyoto greenhouse emissions targets .

"We're not identical. We're different parties, but surely there's room for a conversation. And that's where I was disappointed," May said.


"Despite months of effort to open the door to any conversation at any level, not specifically Central Nova, not specifically what I could do for him or what he could do for me, but just to open the door -- and the door as far as I'm concerned is still open -- to discuss whether there was some way that despite our first-past-the-post system, leaders who care about their country and are willing to put the planet first can't find some way to communicate."

May also told Question Period co-host Jane Taber she was "sad" the NDP had dragged Lewis into the discussion. She said she would have never said publicly that Lewis was trying to help kick-start discussions.

Months of effort? If anyone suggests that the May/Dion talks where kick-started as a mutual effort to squeeze out the NDP, the above seems to contradict that argument. It would appear, there was ample opportunity for a bi-partisanship effort between the NDP and Greens, but Layton decided that it wasn't in the NDP's best interest. So much for the rhetoric about putting partisanship aside to do good work for Canadians.

May turns to Lewis, because they are friends, and hopefully he can break the partisan posturing. Meanwhile, Dion is receptive, and May moves to find common ground. If the NDP is alone, against the big-bad Liberals and the upstart Greens, it is because the NDP decided to isolate itself, not because of backrooms and unsavoury motivations.

On an issue that Layton claims as his own, he couldn't find the time to hear May out. One thing is now crystal clear, Layton's move to bring the Clean Air Act to committee wasn't a noble gesture, it was a pure political manoeuvre, meant to help the NDP fortunes. I applauded Layton at the time, because it was quite a coup, but the corresponding shun of May's overtures completely undermines his "achievement".

Of all the political parties, there is no WIDER GULF than the policies of the NDP and the Conservatives. On pure principle, no one should want to rid Canada of the Harper Conservatives more than Jack Layon. On principle, any effort to engage and co-ordinate should be endorsed whole-heartedly. On principle, you own it too the environmental movement to find common ground with like-minded individuals. The complete rebuff speaks volumes, and shreds any illusion of moral compass. Where was the harm in talking, I mean really? I agree, what the hell is wrong with Jack Layton.

51 comments:

Dana said...

The NDP as presently constituted is as complete a waste of time and discourse as is the present day Conservative party.

They deserve one another.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Layton is talking through his ego stretched hat. Yup - make parliament work and do what is best for Canadians. Uh, huh, right. It's about what Layton thinks is best for "Layton" - not his NDP supporter, not the majority of Canadians.

If Layton really meant it - 70% of Canadians voted against Conservatives in the last election. So, Layton should be trying to proceed with what 70% of Canadians want - and his affiliation with the Conservatives and his own wheeling and dealing makes him one of the biggest hypocrites in Canadian politices today.

I really don't understand how his NDP supporters can stand for this nonsense - Harper is totally against their beliefs, totally opposite.

Scotian said...

What is wrong with Layton is that he has placed his personal ambitions ahead of the public trust/welfare, especially if one believes in and likes the progressive Canada we have evolved ourselves into over the past several decades now. What is wrong with Layton is that he is driven more by his hatred at the Libs always being the alternative choice for government from the "left" than the NDP then he is by the positive principles and visions the NDP once stood for. What is wrong with Layton is that he sees this as a game, and not the future of our nation and our planet despite all of his lofty rhetoric to the contrary. What is wrong with Layton is that he trades on the glory of the NDP and NDP leaders of the past like Tommy Douglas and Broadbent, claims himself as acting in the same vein as those two men yet despite all of his attempts to portray himself and his NDP as that of Douglass' instead appears as it truly has become today, a power/seat first driven party instead of principles first as it was until the dark days of Layton. What is wrong with Layton is Layton's ego, and he is taking the NDP down with him.

While I do not expect to see the NDP tank totally in the next election, I will be very surprised if they can even match the vote level they got last time out, let alone exceed it. My expectation is that they are going to lose votes all around the country from swing progressive voters that once were willing to park votes with the NDP as a party of principle will not anymore because Layton has made clear it is no longer principles first but power first.

BTW, I believe I was more than a little skeptical when Layton threw Harper the lifeline on the CAA last fall here. I thought it was a bad idea, I thought it was further evidence of the de facto alliance between Layton and the Harper CPC against the Libs, and I thought it was going to result in nothing but giving Harper and the CPC a much needed breather from the firestorm the CAA was unleashing on the CPC. Looks like I was Cassandra yet again, not that it takes all that much doing where Layton and Harper is concerned given how naked their respective lusts for power are IMHO.

knb said...

Listening to May this morning, I could have sworn it was you sitting there Steve, (though I don't know you). I mean that in a good way as she confirmed your rant of yesterday, to a tee.

Taber as usual, dismissed her, particulary at the end, but May made it crystal clear where Jack Layton stands. I do hope she gets more air time this week to make the point again or at the very least, I hope that clip is used again.

I really think Jack will be digging his own grave if he keeps this up. How he intends to maintain credibility on the environment file while trashing May, is a bit difficult to see at the moment.

When she said, "What the hell is wrong with Jack Layton that he can't answer a phone call?", I chuckled out loud and thought yes, someone not afraid to call it as she sees it.

Imagine what she must have in store for Harper, during an election!

Robert McClelland said...

The first thing May did when she became leader of the Greens was to start attacking Layton and the NDP and this is just one more example of how she's trying to fling mud at them. So why would you expect them to return her phone calls.

Steve V said...

"Imagine what she must have in store for Harper, during an election!"

People under-estimate May's straight talk, and the natural soundbite quality. I think she will be a media darling, because there isn't even the scent of bs, which should serve as an interesting contrast to others ;)

Steve V said...

robert

Layton speaks with Harper, even though he says things like this:

"The NDP could be described as basically a party of liberal Democrats, but it's actually worse than that, I have to say. And forgive me jesting again, but the NDP is kind of proof that the Devil lives and interferes in the affairs of men."

That argument doesn't fly, and frankly you guys should be asking the same questions of your leadership.

janfromthebruce said...

May is one piece of work, and this is strong language but she is nothing but a two-faced liar. She approached Steven Lewis with her idea of approaching Layton with rigging the riding in Nova Scotia so she could get a free ride. Lewis bluntly told her 'no.' No to her idea of rigging the riding and no to being a broker between her and Layton.
Like Robert said, why would Layton take her calls (if she did call) when all she has done since becoming the Green Leader is bash Layton publicly.
May can spin this anyway she wants, she is so too-faced.
I guess Jane Taber just didn't bite her "we are all progressives together bull." And nor do I.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Remember when he useta be "Smilin'" Jack? He ain't been too smiley the last few times I seen him lookin' all serious an' stuffy on the TV. Laydown got left out in the cold but he had his chance an' yer right as rain, Steve, he's lookin' uncooperative an' partisan.

I'm sensin' a general approval from boogin' Libs, even though the media an the Boogin' Tories is playin' up the disgruntled Grit angle. Is that how you Gritty fellers is readin' it?

BTW, Lizzie just put out a press release a coupla hours ago where she cuts loose that 9-11 cheerleader Potvin out in Vancouver. I posted the press release up on my boog, just now. I'm callin' that strong, decisive an' immediate action -- good leadership.

JimBobby

Steve V said...

jan

Since we are using strong language, let me say narrow-minded purists like yourself are Stephen Harper's wet dream. Enablers.

Steve V said...

jb

On the whole, from what I've read, I would say the majority are onside with the disgusting, partisan, backroom wheeling and dealing ;)

wayward son said...

Robert McClelland - "The first thing May did when she became leader of the Greens was to start attacking Layton and the NDP"

I call Bull Shit Robert. On Mansbridge One on One she was more complimentary of Layton and the NDP then she was of any other party. She said - to paraphrase - that she respected Dion but had concerns that the Liberal party would never allow him to accomplish what he wants on the environment. Then she says that no one in government knows the climate file better than Layton, no one knows more what needs to be done and how to do, because he has done it on the ground. Some attack.

May said a lot of nice about Layton, in return the NDP treated her like shit in LNC. I listened to the NDPers on rabble complain about how she was bashing the NDP in London, even though every NDPer who was actually there in LNC was saying that May had only said positive things about the NDP. In fact no one on that very NDP board could come up with any of these "bad things" May had said about the NDP. But it didn't matter she must be bashing the NDP.
I think that far too many NDPers have persecution complexes.

JimBobby said...

"I think that far too many NDPers have persecution complexes."

Like their Alien Albert bunkmates.

wayward son said...

Jimbobby - "BTW, Lizzie just put out a press release a coupla hours ago where she cuts loose that 9-11 cheerleader Potvin out in Vancouver. I posted the press release up on my boog, just now. I'm callin' that strong, decisive an' immediate action -- good leadership."

Thanks Jimbobby, I knew that was coming, as I said yesterday at Red Tory's:

"Potvin will never run because May will never sign his papers. May will have no tolerance for his views. You have to remember that this is the same woman who resigned from Sea Sheppard Conservation Society (she was on the advisory board) when she heard that Dr. Jerry Vlasak was advocating, in the pursuit of animal liberation, violence against people. She told Paul Watson either Vlasak goes and Sea Sheppard condemns his views and condemns violence (which Watson refused to do) or she goes (which she did).

So I can see no situation in which May wouldn't axe Potvin. If she doesn't I will likely resign my membership."

Sean S. said...

why should Layton talk to May? May as consistently bad mouthed the NDP since the beginning (lets not forget her endorsement of the "think twice" campaign last election, which was nothing more then a Liberal ploy to suck away NDP support).

The Green's represent <4% of the voting public, the NDP > 16%. The NDP has a well formed platform and record in the House, while the Green's may have a platform but they sure don't like to talk about it (mostly because it is a Progressive Conservative oriented platform). The NDP and the Green's share a common environmental goal (though I do remember May endorsing Steady Eddie's intensity based plan in Alberta, interesting).

This is about Jack Layton, it is about the NDP and its values, something that the Green Party and the Liberals do not share.

If it was about putting partisanship aside why are the Liberals and Green's teaming up in a riding where the NDP was the strong 2nd place finisher?

Spare me with this thinly veiled NDP bashing....

knb said...

It would seem as though the NDP rank and file are a little bit nervous and frankly, I don't blame them.

Jan, do you have straight line to Lewis? If not, I'm sure you have no idea what they spoke of. It sounds to me like it would be a logical move for her to make after her election. I mean what is so diabolical about reaching out to another progressive party to discuss the future of the country, currently be led by someone who is opposed to both the Green and NDP?

She approached Steven Lewis with her idea of approaching Layton with rigging the riding in Nova Scotia so she could get a free ride.

This may be what you want to believe, but it's BS. She said been trying to contact Jack since she won the election, that would be August of last year. She only announced her riding of choice, last month my friend. Even taking into account that she made her decision before mid-March, your version is still ridiculous.

NDP'ers would do well to ask the tough questions of their leader rather than expend all this energy running down people's reputations based on fiction, not fact.

Be honest, if you had learned that Layton and May were having conversations after her election, would you really have had a problem with that? If so, why aren't you outraged of him speaking and meeting with Harper?

Robert McClelland said...

Layton speaks with Harper

Of course he does. Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada. Layton's job, as a member of the opposition, is to work with and against the government in order to push the NDP's agenda. You can't do that unless you talk with the other parties in Parliament and so the mud slinging is overlooked by necessity in order to accomplish the NDP's objectives.

Elizabeth May on the other hand, is a seatless flash in the pan and since she chose to go on the offensive against the NDP from the start rather than approach them from a position of respect there's simply no reason for the NDP to give her the time of day.

And as I pointed out, what she said was nothing more than the latest partisan attack on the NDP. She's doing nothing more than trying to blame them for her jumping into bed with Dion while simultaneously trying to dupe the rubes into believing the NDP is too partisan to work with the other parties. The latter is a classic Rovian tactic; attack your opponents strengths.

janfromthebruce said...

So if May is so fixed on saving the planet and the country, why is she fixating on Layton? I thought that Harper Cons were the problem. As Coyne put it, the duo is about the NDP.
I sick of May's whiny ways. When Jack ran in the Danforth he didn't ask for a free ride, and he won the old fashion way.
And after the clean air act that the NDP worked hard on and finally where the liberals got on board, along with the Bloc to clean it up, May comes along and tries to put a sunflower on it, by pretending it was all her idea. Oh yes, she is a piece of work. Yet, the week before, she was telling them to scrap it and it was died. Wait a minute if she was so involved she would have known the week before that it was almost ready to go, but no inconsidencies are too much for May, as long as someone sticks a mike in her face.
And I have wasted enough of my energy on dozie and silly.

Dana said...

"Thinly veiled", Sean?

Nothing either thin or veiled about it.

As far as I'm concerned the NDP is making itself as irrelevant to the guts of the climate change discourse as General Motors.

Steve V said...

"This is about Jack Layton, it is about the NDP and its values, something that the Green Party and the Liberals do not share."

In my mind, it's about not having to endure 4 more years of a right-wing agenda. Funny that Dion endures consistent criticism that he's ceded the center, and moved left, yet we still have to hear about this great chasm with progressives. You hit the nail on the head, it's all about Layton, all about the NDP.

knb said...

The latter is a classic Rovian tactic; attack your opponents strengths.

Indeed and it looks to me that Jack has learned that tactic very well from his pal Steve. He's attacking the integrity of two people who have it in spades.

Look for the record, I have nothing against the NDP as I've said before and I have voted that way in the past, so it's not about NDP bashing. I do however think Layton has made a great number of mistakes and this is just the latest. I'm not sure where he's getting his advice from lately, but I think it's been bad advice and he's doing damage to the party.

knb said...

So if May is so fixed on saving the planet and the country, why is she fixating on Layton? I thought that Harper Cons were the problem.

Jan with respect, you're convoluting two issues. She's not fixated on Layton, the media is by wondering why the other progressive party is not involved in fighting Harper.

Harper is the problem and I have not heard May say one good thing about him or his government.

Unless you support Harper, don't you think it makes sense for the opposition and the Greens to try to defeat him?

When btw did May try to take credit for the re-written Clean Air Act?

Scotian said...

"And as I pointed out, what she said was nothing more than the latest partisan attack on the NDP. She's doing nothing more than trying to blame them for her jumping into bed with Dion while simultaneously trying to dupe the rubes into believing the NDP is too partisan to work with the other parties. The latter is a classic Rovian tactic; attack your opponents strengths."

3:22 PM, April 15, 2007

Of course it is Robert, of course it is. After all, Jack Layton has done nothing to make people wonder whether he is more concerned with defeating Liberals even if that means CPC government (even majority).

I have said it before Robert and I will say it again. You are a very good internet researcher, which is why I read your blog, but there are times when your own party partisanship blinds you every bit as much as the loyal Kool-Aid drinkers of Harper's and those Liberal Martinites that claimed he could do no wrong back in 2005. Layton has nothing to fear in losing the base NDP, it is the swing vote that he has placed at risk, people like myself, like Steve V who used to vote NDP until Layton made that too hard to do. It is those people you need as a party to win even Official Opposition, and it is those people that the cozying up with Harper to bash the Liberals first that Layton is most alienating with his actions.

Look Robert, I could make the same Rovian claim with all the NDP attacks on Dion's record as Environment Minister and what he was poised to bring in when the Martin government fell. Those policies were also quite substantial, otherwise you would not have the non-partisan environmentalists so confident in Dion nor speaking so highly of him in this regard, especially given the Liberal record overall. Yet that has not stopped NDPers from Layton on down from attacking Dion as all flash no substance on the environment file, which is Dion's greatest strength. So you might want to be a bit more careful about tossing around claims of Rovian politics, especially when your own side is doing the same thing.

Stephen said...

"I thought that Harper Cons were the problem"

They are indeed the problem, thus the importance of avoiding vote splitting. And if it means also uniting behind the NDP in ridings where the NDP are stronger than the Liberals, then so be it.

I think I'm going to stop worrying about the ideological purists, Steve. They're not getting it.

That said, I'm still not getting why Layton can't even take her phone calls.

wayward son said...

Sean S. said...
"why should Layton talk to May? May as consistently bad mouthed the NDP since the beginning"

Any proof of this bashing?

"(lets not forget her endorsement of the "think twice" campaign last election, which was nothing more then a Liberal ploy to suck away NDP support)."

Oh yes that group of Liberals who oddly enough was lead entirely by non-Liberals: Maude Barlow, Buzz Hargrove, Kira Heineck (child care advocacy association of canada), Linda Silas (President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, Bonnie Diamond (Executive Director, National Association of Woman and the Law), Elizabeth May. An NDP hating group if I have ever seen one!

"The Green's represent <4% of the voting public, the NDP > 16%."

The Greens are under 4%? Funny they received more than that in each of the last two elections and when I averaged out the last twenty polls they are sitting at 9%. The NDP averaged 14% over those same 20 polls, which if my memory serves me right is not greater than 16%.

"The NDP has a well formed platform and record in the House, while the Green's may have a platform but they sure don't like to talk about it (mostly because it is a Progressive Conservative oriented platform)."

I can't remember the last time I heard the NDP talking about their platform. I guess during the election campaign.

"The NDP and the Green's share a common environmental goal (though I do remember May endorsing Steady Eddie's intensity based plan in Alberta, interesting)."

First of all May didn't endorse Alberta's new plan she said that the fact that Albertans were even willing to admit that climate change is a threat was a step in the right direction.

I noticed that you live in Saskatchewan - how is your long time NDP doing on the environment? Still placed second worse in the country (only ahead of Alberta) on the environment by every environmental group?

"This is about Jack Layton, it is about the NDP and its values, something that the Green Party and the Liberals do not share."

I don't share Jack's values of working with Harper.


"If it was about putting partisanship aside why are the Liberals and Green's teaming up in a riding where the NDP was the strong 2nd place finisher?"

Again the persecution complex. Alexis isn't running again. May knew this before she decided to run there. Prior to Alexis the NDP was topping out at 13% in the riding going all the way back to the 60's.

"Spare me with this thinly veiled NDP bashing...."

I don't think that any of my NDP bashing is thinly veiled.

Steve V said...

Just a quick point, on the partisan, NDP bashing angle. Has anyone noticed that all those who are critical of the NDP in this thread have cast votes for the NDP in the past?

Dana said...

What Layton and his gaggle of gobsmacked sycophants absolutely need to see happen is another Harper government. More than anything that's what they want. They'd probably rather it was another minority but it's not vital.

That's the bottom line.

Only the most delusional of them think they themselves will become the next government. There are some pretty delusional ones of course but that's beside *this* point.

So they have to hope for Harper...or maybe Duceppe.

A return to government of the Dion Liberals willing to cooperate with the Greens (in or out of Parl't) would be the worst thing imaginable for the NDP - could really finally be a deathknell.

So Jack and the gaggle corps have to do everything in their limited power to see to it that Harper remains PM for the foreseaable future.

How will we ever thank them?

wayward son said...

"Just a quick point, on the partisan, NDP bashing angle. Has anyone noticed that all those who are critical of the NDP in this thread have cast votes for the NDP in the past?"

Yes, I have noticed that. Clearly we are a bunch of bloggers who have been raised to hate the NDP since birth. I have a lot of respect for many NPD MPs and MPPs. It was only four years ago that was involved enough to NDP politics to be asked to run for the provincial nomination by Charlie Angus. I had just accepted a job outside of the riding so I didn't run for nomination.

wayward son said...

Interesting analysis of May's chances in Central Nova by the same guy from democraticspace who very accurately predicted the outcome of LNC, which is amazing considering how far off every other pundit was. A little bit optomistic, but then again his prediction for May in LNC was laughed off as absurdly optomistic and she exceeded that.

http://democraticspace.com/blog/2007/04/can-elizabeth-may-win-central-nova/

wayward son said...

His prediction, by the way is:

MacKay 40%, May 40%, NDP 20%. Like I said optimistic and very early. But the method to his madness is interesting and his track record is good.

knb said...

Interesting wayward. This is who the NDP is running. I know nothing about her so I do not know if this will have any impact.

As an aside, it says that she has been named. Does that mean appointed? Was there a riding contest?

wayward son said...

knb,

As far as I no she was the only candidate running for the NDP nomination. I don't know anything about her either.

Greg said...

What is wrong with Layton is that he has placed his personal ambitions ahead of the public trust/welfare, especially if one believes in and likes the progressive Canada we have evolved ourselves into over the past several decades now.

What's wrong with those who keep buying Liberal bullshit about being "progressive"is...well that they keep buying Liberal bullshit about being progressive. We had 13 years of "progressive" rule and we got no daycare, no pharmacare, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations and increases in CO2 emissions. Time to wake up folks. You are being played.

Stephen said...

Actually Greg, you are the one who is being played. It is true that there were a lot of things about the Martin and Chretien regimes that were not progressive.

You are buying the NDP line that a new leader in the Liberal party necessarily means more of the same. Personally I don't know if it will or not; Dion is in many resepcts an unknown entity. His leadersihp platform was certainly progressive though, and I'd like to see what he could do with the keys to 24 Sussex.

Dana said...

The delusional wing heard from.


Ms Lorefice is rated by her students http://www.ratemyteachers.ca/schools/nova_scotia/antigonish/dr._john_hugh_gillis_regional_school/louise__lorefice

kinch said...

So not being a part of trying to fix a riding for a party who the public does not want in, is partsan? Looks like a lot of you don't like democracy when it doesn't go your way.

wayward son said...

"We had 13 years of "progressive" rule and we got no daycare, no pharmacare, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations and increases in CO2 emissions."

Hey Greg, I am not a Liberal voter, but I like these substitutions:

"We had 16 years of NDP rule in Saskatchewan and we got no daycare, no pharmacare, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations and increases in CO2 emissions."

or

"We had 8 years of NDP rule in Manitoba and we got no daycare, no pharmacare, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations and increases in CO2 emissions."

Now I do realize that Manitoba and Saskatchewan have some basic drug plan, but they are far from universal and I fail to see how it is any better than other provinces.

Steve V said...

dana

Thanks for that link, interesting.

"She's a bit preachy"- should fit in nicely ;)

wayward

The federal NDP is different, they will never rule, so they will never be exposed, unlike other parties. It's all theoretical, which allows for the consistent moral high ground.

Scotian said...

"The federal NDP is different, they will never rule, so they will never be exposed, unlike other parties. It's all theoretical, which allows for the consistent moral high ground." Steve V 5:21 PM, April 15, 2007

True enough. However, when I read this it caused me to want to point out something as regarding this point and Harper/CPC. One of the big advantages Harper had with his morality campaign in the last election cycle (aside of course from the Lib scandals themselves and the bumbling campaign they ran in 2005) was the fact the CPC had no record of governing either. This allowed them to project the highest of pure imagery upon themselves without there being much in the way of rebuttal being possible because of that lack of record. That no longer exists for Harper and the CPC now though. So how much does that lack really undercut the character attack approach Harper is clearly employing against the Libs this time out?

This is especially important to keep in mind since most Canadians that know anything about the Lib leadership race knows Dion was an outsider and not the choice of the party establishment. Therefore they can have some reasonable basis to believe he will be different than what they would expect from the establishment, as well as also showing by not being so desired that he was not in their favour which also immunizes him from most of the scandal attacks too. I am also very curious to see when the writ is dropped whether the CPC drops a few points then too like governments tend to. I know one of the things CPCers loved to point out in the past was how the Libs always lost several points when the election was called, yet they seemed to think that was because they were Liberals and not because they were the current government.

There are a lot of factors going into this campaign that are significantly different from the last, yet from what we have seen so far it looks like mainly a negative campaign against the Libs and Dion even before the writ is dropped, and only once the writ is dropped do we get the CPC platform. They were able to get away with this strategy last time out because of the environment that existed, I am highly dubious that it can be replicated for the next election despite all of the clear ground work being laid for it.

So the Harper CPC now has a record to defend, and a record that is not exactly considered all that impressive by most people. I mean from the softwood sellout to the IT promise Halloween surprise to the way Harper tries to hide everything about his government while trying o scandalmonger the Libs even to this day (see witch-hunt investigation of polling firms in Quebec by a separatist) to a whole lot of other things at best Harper comes off as a mixed bag outside of the CPC core base. He cannot simply make grandiose claims of clean cut Con government this time out, his own record makes that impossible. I mean he tainted the very first day of the first ever CC government with the Emerson, Fortier, and O'Conner appointments. So how does he maintain being on the side of the angels appearance when his own actions make it clear that whatever he is like in government it is not the open honest, transparent and collaborative kind that he was promising the CPC would deliver in the 2005 campaign?

As for the NDP's lack of a record, this time out that is going to hurt them I think. Layton has been too pious sounding as of late and too many of his understudies in the party have been shrill to bilious in tone when regarding the Libs/Dion and the Greens/May, and for a party that claims to be the only ones actually trying to work with others it seems like only the CPC are worthy of Layton and the NDP's time with that approach. The NDP partisans just do not want to accept that it is not Liberal propaganda that has swing voters turning away from the Layton NDP but the actual response from many of us because of what we see Layton doing. I mean really, he brings down Martin just when several major progressive initiatives were about to be launched. If he had waited to when Martin had promised he would call a few months later they would have been far harder for the CPC to up and cancel, including things like Kelowna and national child day care. That is what helps drive swing voters away from the Layton NDP and not your so called Liberal propaganda, and incidentally NDPers calling us Liberal operatives or victims of Liberal propaganda/brainwashing does not exactly provide any incentive to reconsider that position either.

The NDP may be heading to oblivion thanks to Layton, even if it takes longer than his time as leader before it finally winds up. I think he may have set into motion the end of the NDP for a generation anyway as anything more than a protest party at the national level, which really is a shame given the history and heritage that party had up until Layton.

Steve V said...

" One of the big advantages Harper had with his morality campaign in the last election cycle (aside of course from the Lib scandals themselves and the bumbling campaign they ran in 2005) was the fact the CPC had no record of governing either. This allowed them to project the highest of pure imagery upon themselves without there being much in the way of rebuttal being possible because of that lack of record."

Scotian, I was about to mention that, but hesitated, because I didn't want to compare the NDP and the Conservatives. I don't think it fair to say the NDP would act with such hyper-partisanship as this lot has shown themselves. But, you're right, the moral high ground seems to be the domain of the unproven, and they all fall from their self-imposed pedestal.

Rae is actually a good example. Rae tried, but he never lived up to the opposition rhetoric, and had to face many contradictions, when in office.

Dana said...

"I don't think it fair to say the NDP would act with such hyper-partisanship as this lot has shown themselves." Steve says.

But that's what they're doing right now, Steve. Walkin' and squalkin'.

It's a duck.

Scotian said...

Steve V:

I am afraid I am inclined to agree with Dana on this point. Indeed, while the rhetoric of the NDP is not as strident in tone as we hear from the CPC it is no more grounded in reality than the CPC's, as exemplified by "Liberal Tory same old story".

knb said...

I would agree with your last statement Scotian. The arguments put forth are not based in reality and that is borne out by the facts presented in this thread that dispute the claims.

To me, people only react that way when they are trying to defend the indefensible.

Perhaps it is a human trait, but I think for most of us there comes a point when you realise your folly and step back to analyse.

Perhaps this is all too new for some to do that. I'll hope reason prevails.

As for Mr. Layton, I think it is too late and the stakes are different for him. Too late, because he has been fully ensconced in this demeanor for too long. The stakes for him are now too high. He's said more than he could legitimately take back.

Dana said...

As knb says, the only thing Layton has left to hope for is another Conservative government.

Realistically, any other eventuality spells his demise.

Sean S. said...

yes, the NDP is looking and hoping for another Harper government. Do you read your words before posting?

FYI, in Saskatchewan the NDP riding associations are putting together a mutual strategy to take the fight to Harper and his 12 MPs in the next election. The last thing we want to see here are these 12 coming back in the next session. However, we also have to battle against the old Liberal "don't split the vote" line they like to trot out each election (which is far from productive in Sask).

As for the Sask NDP, I have said it before and won't pretend otherwise, I am not impressed by them precisely because they are not acting like an NDP party (more like a centrist Liberal incarnation). Unfortunately, the only other option here is the Sask Party/Conservatives, and they are clearly the worst of the two.

Finally, the (as Janfromthebruce as pointed out) NDP even if it wanted to cannot institute top-down directives. The riding associations have complete control over happenings in their ridings (not to mention that they actually provide a good deal of funding to the national party, unlike the much larger Libs and Cons).

Oh, and just to clarify, I meant to say "this is NOT about Jack Layton", my bad.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with Layton? The error by NDP was voting him as leader - it should have been Bill Blaikie - he's respected by ALL members of parliament and that was the NDP's best asset - leaders that were respected. Douglas, Broadbent. There's always been a question about Layton's first time elected as leader and Blaikie was angered at the time.

The NDP blew it. If they had voted for Blaikie (who doesn't play the bash and trash politics) they might have had a different story today. Blaikie doesn't like the complexion of politics today and is retiring - what a shame.

Dana said...

Sean, yeah I read 'em. I mean 'em too.

What do *you* think it'll mean to Layton and his posse if a Dion government is elected?

My sense is that it'll mean another generation in the electoral wilderness at the very least. And if Dion does swing the Liberal party back to the left it could very well mean much more than just wilderness - it could lead to extinction.

The best Layton can hope for is another Con government.

That would be why he focuses his ire on Liberals and not on Cons.

canuckistanian said...

it is unfortunate the ndp chose to ignore the memo that the liberals are no longer the gov't. funny that. the gov't and the opposition ndp continue to behave as though it is the liberals who need to be opposed.

getting rid of harper is my objective. i am more inclined to support the ndp than the greens, but would vote for the candidate best able to beat the conservatives.

being from manitoba, no mp, since lloyd, has been as respected as bill blaikie. funny how both he and jamie heath are abandoning the layton party.

as for ideological purity, the provincial ndp bear no resemblnace to their federal brethren as they have the difficult task of governing, which requires compromise and pragmatism. provincial dippers are federal liberals (although less beholden to corporate interests).

Sheeple said...

Damn heated debate,

Look forward to seeing if the NDP will cooperate for the better of the country. If not, you guys are toast.

Scotian said...

"(lets not forget her endorsement of the "think twice" campaign last election, which was nothing more then a Liberal ploy to suck away NDP support)." Sean S 3:18 PM, April 15, 2007

Let's not forget, Layton ran his "lend me your vote" campaign against the Liberals in the last election, which was nothing more than a NDP ploy to suck off Liberal support. So any Dipper trying to use this argument to claim any sense of moral outrage on May, or calling her less than admirable for doing so has shown yet again the level of hypocrisy they are willing to embrace in the defence of dear Leader Layton. I am becoming increasingly concerned by this cult of personality I am seeing from some NDPers online where Layton is concerned. While I recognize that cults of personality are something that tend to form within ideologically driven parties (whatever the ideology, it does not matter if it is left right or purple polka dot) I am not used to seeing NDP leaders being given this much deference to their decisions whenever there has been a clear public discomfort to them. The idea that all the complaints of Layton playing too closely to Harper all being Liberal propaganda is just another way of ignoring a problem instead of facing it and what it means.

The reason Dipper do not want to listen to this is that it would force them to examine their own support for these actions over the past year and a half. I sometimes wonder if it not much like the way the American MSM has been so slow to examine the way the Iraq war was sold on fabricated (and poorly done at that which would not hold up to serious critical scrutiny and didn't in Knight Ridder news service's contemporaneous reporting I might add) information because they enabled it by cheering it on instead of actually giving it serious consideration/examination.

I might also add that when you start claiming something is all Liberal propaganda you are creating a blind spot that will come back to haunt you. As has already been noted here it is interesting how most of the harsh criticism in this vein has come from those that used to be able to vote NDP and had in the recent past. Indeed, I did in 2004, just as I had voted for this NDP candidate every time I was in her riding during an election. I really resented Layton putting me in such a position that I could not support her because I was in such profound disagreement with his threat assessments and priorities in terms of responding/dealing with them that I could not. Contrary to public perception by many Dippers, I am not a Liberal, have never been a Liberal. I am a true swing voter, indeed my very nature precludes me from being a party partisan, something which was a great disappointment to one of my political mentors growing up. Yet I find my criticisms about Layton being dismissed as such routinely all because I am saying something the Dippers don't want to hear let alone believe is anything more than Liberal partisan propaganda.

This is why the NDP is losing swing voters Sean S, it is because too often you are still sounding like you are running against the Liberals, which when they are not the government seems more than a little odd, especially when we have the most right wing PM in many decades at the minimum if not ever currently in office aiming for a majority being aided in that quest by the Layton/NDP fixation on the Liberals as their primary opponent. Which given you share many of the same swing voter components of the electorate that makes some sense when there is no great threat posed by the other major federal party at the time. However, Harper is a great threat something most progressives clearly recognize, yet it is the NDP more than anyone else that has been enabling Harper since the fall of 2005. While yes the BQ has been the basis for the budgets going through both times, those are not the only things the CPC government has done, things like the so called Accountability Act which was a pure CPC-NDP collaboration. Now we see a crime bill alliance forming.

One last thing. Every time you dismiss someone like myself as a Liberal propaganda spewer (be it as an operative or a dupe brainwashed is irrelevant) when you have no way of actually substantiating it you are showing just how afraid you are of the possible truth (or appearance of truth to the electorate, which in politics is essentially the same given the power of perception in politics)in these claims. By brushing it aside this way you also show your willingness to insult the intelligence of any voter making these comments who are not true Liberals, like myself for example and I am far from the only swing voter I have seen raise these concerns to receive the same treatment. More and more the current NDP is looking slimy because of the actions of the leader during a time of serious threat to all progressives whatever their flavour (and incidentally, the Libs are more progressive than Dippers like to acknowledge, among other things they wrote and insisted upon the Charter and that is a most progressive document indeed) AND that so many NDP loyalists are refusing to face this and hold their own leadership to account, instead preferring to blame everyone else instead of their own. This is not a good way to convince people to vote NDP, and not just those on the direct end of this treatment but also those swing voters simply lurking/reading/overhearing it all and also being unimpressed.

You insult the intelligence of the Canadian voter at your peril, and just because they do not agree with you (incidentally, this is using a global not specific you in case you could not tell from the context) on political issues and/or speed of change/implementation does not make them ignorant/stupid. Yet this is how too many Dippers are coming off these days, not all, but more than I am used to, and I suspect that also is being noticed by many undecideds simply reading and not actually commenting. You forget about lurkers at your peril online, you can impact far more than you may think just by going on the contents of a comments thread.

Adam said...

Great post. It is a painfully accurate intepretation of the position of the NDP on this whole issue. Let's hope that when the dust settles, all three parties can get together and realize that none of their collective policy agreements (namely environmental policies) are never going to be implemented if Harper gets a majority next time around.