Saturday, October 20, 2007

How Special

Guess which national paper was magnanimous enough to offer Jack Layton a special op-ed, with the main thesis- Liberals bad? Great to see our media giving politicians another platform to get there message out, particularly one that helps with the "agenda".

21 comments:

Gayle said...

I wonder what Jack would do if the liberals' numbers changed over the next few weeks/months resulting in higher poll numbers. Would he continue to push for an election with the chance of reducing his seats in the House?

Time will tell on both counts I guess...

ottlib said...

The National Post is unapologetically Conservative and it is Conservative strategy to divide the progressives in this country. Just ask Tom Flanagan.

So do not be surprised that they would give Mr. Layton space in their newspaper to trash the Liberals.

However, you can certainly blame Jack Layton for allowing himself to be used this way by Conservatives.

He is either incredibly stupid or he just cares more about taking more seats from the Liberals than defeating Mr. Harper. If it is the second, Mr. Layton has very strange notions of integrity and principles.

I have said it before and I will say it again Jack Layton has placed the federal NDP on the road to destruction. There are seats currently held by the NDP that are in danger from the Greens. If the Greens take any of those seats that will be the beginning of the end for the Dippers.

The Jurist said...

I'll agree that Layton's content should have paid more attention to the issues and less to the Libs. But do any of the national newspapers deny the federal party leaders a chance to have their submissions printed? And is today the time to be complaining when Dion's "As Prime Minister, I Would..." entry made the front page of the Star?

Anonymous said...

Guess you missed the bore fest that was Dion's 'throne speech' that appeared in the Toronto Star today eh?

northwestern_lad said...

Ottlib... you're comments are so far off-base that it's not even funny. For starters, why can't taking seats from the Liberals and defeating Harper can't go hand in hand??? The last time I checked neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have some divine right to government.

As for NDP seats that are in trouble from the Greens, now that's a laugh. Please, point some of these ridings out to all of us and back up your points. Which ridings are the Greens going to take from the NDP???

Tomm said...

Steve,

The man is so unbelievably earnest:

"I believe that leadership is about knowing what you believe and having the courage to stand up for your principles. This is what guides me as an elected official and what guides the party that I lead..."

I would call him unbelievably naive but that would be incorrect. As we have seen, Mr. Layton is outrageously anti-American, anti-captitalist, and into linking arms and swaying with whatever the song of the month happens to be.

Good for him. What a guy! Just don't give him any authority to speak for me or my tax money.

The National Post is just doing the smart thing. Layton IS acting like the official opposition. He is clearly carving out the space that attracts those that have a gut antipathy for Harper and his party.

These people were evenly split between the Dippers and the Grits... until now.

Dion has put himself into a race with Layton instead of Harper but espousing the policies he has.

Then he trumpets massive corporate tax cuts and and acts like Harper's footstool in the House.

At least Layton hasn't pissed off his own constituency. The Liberal's continue to dig themselves deeper into a hole.

Tomm

ottlib said...

northwestern lad:

Check out some of the NDP ridings in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

"For starters, why can't taking seats from the Liberals and defeating Harper can't go hand in hand???"

Because the Liberals and the NDP are both progressive parties. An increase in the number of NDP seats would come mostly from the Liberals and not the Conservatives. The Liberals are still the ONLY party that can beat the Conservatives. You are dreaming if you think otherwise. More than a half-a-century of Canadian political history demonstrates that.

So if the NDP takes seats from the Liberals that is a net gain for the Conservatives and the Conservatives win.

The National Post knows this is the case, which is why they gave Mr. Layton the column inches.

wilson said...

so Libs nag about Jack getting some ink, but want Lizzy in the debates...

''The Liberals are still the ONLY party that can beat the Conservatives.''

And what if the Cons 'can not be beat'?
What if Canadians are poised to give PMSH a minority or majority, and Libs have no chance of winning government?

If this proves to be the landscape of the next general election,
IMO all those Dipper votes that bought the 'stop Harper' pleas of Lizzy and Buzz, and voted Liberal, will go home.
Perhaps it is the Cons who will vote strategically this time, to ensure Dippers get more seats...

The writting is on the wall,
Libs can't stop Harper, that is why Dippers got a seat in Quebec.

MarkCh said...

"The Liberals are still the only party that can beat the Conservatives". So, while they may not have a divine right to govern, they at least have a divine right to govern in alternation with the Conservatives. Maybe they have had 100 years in power without ever bringing about what the NDP wants, and it is time for the NDP to try to supplant them. If it takes 20 years, so what? We don't hear from the British Liberal party much any more, do we?

Scotian said...

Can someone (from the NDP in particular) please explain to me how if the Liberals are so awful Canada turned out to be such a great country to live in despite the fact the Libs have governed most of its history especially in the past forty years? I am serious about this btw, for all the trashing of how bad the Libs are and how anti-progressive they supposedly are Canada is one of the most progressive nations on earth in both views and institutions. Please reconcile this contradiction for me please.

Anonymous said...

"If it takes 20 years, so what?"
No wonder why the Conservatives like the NDP so much

daniel said...

"Check out some of the NDP ridings in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island."

Ottlib, the only British Columbia riding won by the NDP in 2006 where the Greens broke 3,000 votes was Victoria, and I don't think I'd hold by breath waiting for a breakthrough there. The Greens should be focusing on their strongest riding, Saanich-Gulf Islands, but since it appears that they won't be fielding a candidate there (part of a "strategy" to defeat Natural Resources minister Gary Lunn), that...well, that guarantees they won't break through there, now doesn't it?

"An increase in the number of NDP seats would come mostly from the Liberals and not the Conservatives."

The federal voting histories of Saskatchewan and British Columbia say otherwise.

I'm sick of the attitude that the NDP should just lay down and die so that the Liberals can "stop the Conservatives." There are parts of the country where the NDP is the only party that can stop the Conservatives, and still others where the Conservatives are no threat at all - and still *others* where people actually vote for the party they prefer, rather than out of some sort of motivation to "stop" another party.

The Liberals and NDP may hold some similiarities, but the Liberals (when in government) are at least as similar to the Conservatives as they are to the NDP - and somehow, I doubt that such a quality is tremendously endearing to the NDP's traditional base.

Scotian said...

Daniel:

In case you missed it people like myself are not saying they should lie down and die/be silent towards the Libs, no we aren't saying that at all. What we *ARE* saying though is that the NDP should be making the CPC their PRIMARY target and the Libs their secondary one, and not instead be aligning with Harper's CPC on issues and Parliamentary moves so as to weaken the Libs and further increase the chances for Harper getting his majority as a result of the vote splitting. If the NDP truly were making the CPC their primary target in a serious manner would the Harper CPC speak as highly of them when they do and limit the intensity of their criticisms of NDP positions as they do? Of course not. What Layton is doing is showing that for his NDP that it is more important to beat Liberals even at the very real risks of sufficient vote splitting to let Harper's CPC get a majority running up the middle than it is to defeat Harper's CPC, this despite the reality/truth that Harper's CPC is clearly and blatantly the far greater threat to core NDP values and political principles/traditional positions.

I really find it annoying of NDP supporters that use this argument that what we Harper foes are saying is that the NDP should lie down and quit or something, that is a dishonest representation of the above argument. Only a blind partisan could expect any political party to stop attacking its opponents entirely even if they have much in common overall, but that has never been the point. The point is the prioritizing of targets and the risks willing to be run with allowing the true danger to all progressives and real "lefties" in this country to gain majority power (or even be left with a minority for many years, especially given the dictatorial nature of Harper's Parliamentary style overall) by the self described sole party of principle first, the NDP. When actions and words conflict, I trust actions far more, and the actions of the Layton NDP have clearly been to make the Libs their real priority no matter what the risks with Harper, and worse being willing to ally with Harper to that ends even when it is obvious that the only reason Harper works with anyone is to increase his own power position.

So NDP supporters/partisans please try thinking things through and being honest about what folks like me are criticizing the Layton NDP for, otherwise you are being no better than the CPC Kool-Aid drinkers in terms of intellectual honesty and rational/real world debate/discussion.

Steve V said...

"Can someone (from the NDP in particular) please explain to me how if the Liberals are so awful Canada turned out to be such a great country to live in despite the fact the Libs have governed most of its history especially in the past forty years? I am serious about this btw, for all the trashing of how bad the Libs are and how anti-progressive they supposedly are Canada is one of the most progressive nations on earth in both views and institutions. Please reconcile this contradiction for me please.'

Scotian, a good question indeed.

ottlib said...

daniel:

That was last year when the Greens only garnered about 5% of the vote.

They have since more than doubled that. Alot of that has been gained in BC.

Do you think that that support was gained in the BC Interior? The Green Party support is rather "efficient" in BC, which is why the NDP had better beware.

The leader of the Greens is a firebrand who is going to light into Mr. Harper for his abandonment of the Kyoto Protocol. As well, she is going to get alot of national attention because she is running against Mr. MacKay. Indeed, that is why she chose to run against him. If she would have run in a more plausible riding, say in BC, she would have been ignored like the last leader of the Greens. Now she can probably count on receiving coverage much more often.

If Jack Layton continues his strategy of trashing the Liberals while giving the Conservatives a relatively free ride alot of his support is going to drain away.

Some of it will go to the Liberals but there are a few NDP supporters who would just not be able to vote for the Liberals but they now have a nice alternative waiting right there with Ms. May.

Jack Layton is still playing the game as if the only progressive parties are the NDP and the Liberals. That has changed and it is the NDP that is in the most precarious position in this new dynamic.

But daniel, by all means, ignore this reality and I would say the same to all NDP partisans. There was a time when I liked and respected the NDP for its principles. Hell, I was a Liberal who even believed the party should have had official party status in the '90s when it lacked sufficient number of MPs to warrant it.

Jack Layton has changed all of that. The NDP has ceased being a party of principle under his leadership. I see him and Mr. Harper as the flip side of the very same coin. Both place political gain over everything. Perhaps that is why they seem to get along so well. They see a bit of themselves in each other.

So, as far as I am concerned the sooner the NDP goes the way of the old Social Credit Party the better.

northwestern_lad said...

Okay... enough is enough... If the Liberal posters here don't think that the NDP shouldn't point out their faults while they do the same with the Conservatives, then they are dilussional.

Also, the last time I checked, there has only been one party who has voted against the Conservatives on every single confidence motion thus far, and that is the NDP. The NDP is the only progressive party that hasn't sold out it's own core beliefs in supporting this government.

And as for the question about the Liberals, most of the major social policy that they have passed federally (medicare, Social security) were CCF/NDP ideas, and they were co-opted to stem the tide of their rise, not out of altruism.

So for those of you who don't like what Mr. Layton is saying, there's an easy way to stop it. Stand up and prove him wrong. The fact is that Mr. Layton is not laying down to anyone, and as I have said time and time again, the NDP owes the Liberals absolutely nothing when it comes to how they approach them.

Steve V said...

"If the Liberal posters here don't think that the NDP shouldn't point out their faults while they do the same with the Conservatives, then they are dilussional."

Cam, of course the NDP should, that goes without saying. Having said that, the reason I posted the link is because there is a dynamic at play, wherein Conservatives pump Layton to undermine the Liberals. I would also add, when Layton was hammering the Liberals everyday in QP, despite the fact the government was Conservative, you will notice the NDP support was slipping, only now has it rebounded, because Layton has generally trained his gaze at the government.

Tomm said...

ottlib,

Your rationalizing why Jack Layton's strategy is misguided; when you are a clear Liberal partisan is quite entertaining.

Layton is attacking the Liberals to shake some votes off the hide of this wounded animal we all like to call the LPC. What is irrational about that?

You obviously would prefer him to attack the CPC to knock some votes off their flank. But who would benefit from knocking off those votes? The NDP? Not likely.

That being said, yes, if there were only two parties in Canada, one being Stephen Harper's CPC and the other being something left of that, than yes, there would be a non-conservative majority.

...and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Tomm

ottlib said...

Tomm:

I actually agree with you.

Mr. Layton is trying to shake out some Liberal votes for his party. I have no problem with that.

The problem I have is he is doing it by carry the water of a government that thinks his ideas and his ideology are completely off-the-wall so they would never adopt any policy the NDP wants.

So in effect the NDP is sacrificing its own principles to win a few more seats.

Again, I have no problem with that. My problem is Jack Layton and other NDP partisans getting on their high-horse and stating that they are taking the principled route in attacking the Liberals.

It is BS. You know it, the Conservatives know it, the National Post knows it, and I know it.

Incidentally, Jack Layton knows it as well, which makes him just as much of a hypocrit as Stephen Harper.

Tomm said...

ottlib,

I also agree with you.

Layton is too smarmy by half. Even if I was left of the spectrum, I can't imagine ever voting for the guy's party.

Its arrogant left wing dogma that tells you what to believe.

Its dangerous.

Tomm

Anonymous said...

Don't you think this was a slap at both the NDP and Liberals on the National Post's part? Seeing Layton share a spread on Harpermania/Dion-bashing with Conrad Black and David "Axis of Evil" Frum, seemed like an attempt to take a swipe at Layton too. I know the NP is a neoconservative paper, but they don't always have the likes of both Black and Frum on their Ideas page. I doubt that Layton knew who he would be sharing the page with.