Friday, October 12, 2007

Layton Looks To Fill The Void

Further proof that people are deluding themselves, if they think the Liberals can simply abstain on the throne speech, with little consequence. Layton will exploit to the maximum:
OTTAWA – NDP Leader Jack Layton today issued a challenge to St├ęphane Dion for next week’s Throne Speech: “If the Liberal Party believes in anything, order your MPs to show up for Throne Speech votes.”

“Throne Speech votes are a time to show leadership, to make a decision. You either stand with or stand against Mr. Harper’s agenda,” said Layton. “By ordering Liberals to abstain or be absent for Throne Speech votes, Mr. Dion is not showing leadership.”

Layton added, “Mr. Dion cannot hide from the responsibility of deciding whether he is with Mr. Harper or against him by ordering Liberals to remain absent or abstain on Throne Speech votes. That’s not leadership.”

“If Mr. Dion and the Liberal Party are incapable of serving as an opposition to the Harper government, the NDP will,” concluded Layton.

Then again, what do I know.

30 comments:

whatever... said...

Strange how Joke Layton didn't give the same spiel when the Conservatives did the same.

Steve V said...

Not strange at all, it's the Liberal vote he craves.

McGuire said...

All this, plus the new book on Afghanistan that was featured on the CBC last nite, about how everything Liberals have been saying about how they rejected Iraq, when it was in fact Canada that was rejected, gives the Dippers plenty to hammer the Grits on.

wilson said...

National Post printed and excerpt from the book today, too.
''..the most senior Canadian officer on exchange was a brigadier general, Walt Natynczuk,

who was directly involved in

planning the invasion of Iraq

from the American headquarters in Kuwait.'

Steve V said...

I'm not sure why the righties have their hackles up, sounds like simple diplomacy, life on the highwire. Next.

Anonymous said...

"Strange how Joke Layton didn't give the same spiel when the Conservatives did the same."

He did, all over Saskatchewan, saying if Conservative MPs won't stand up for the province, the NDP would (still didn't win any seats there though).

Steve V said...

anon

The problem, it isn't just the NDP questioning "leadership", it will be a collage of all three, the Cons, Bloc and the NDP. Taken in totality, it strikes right at the heart of Dion's problems, and it will cement perceptions further.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, you gotta love the NDP's new slogan...

"The Effective Opposition"

LoB

knb said...

“If the Liberal Party believes in anything, order your MPs to show up for Throne Speech votes.”

I take your point Steve, but I am so sick of Layton throwing around threats. Gawd, between he and Harper yesterday, (about Casey), I think they are turning a lot of people off, period.

Gawd I'm sick of this guy.

Gayle said...

And if Dion votes with the NDP against the throne speech, does that mean Layton is prepared to share the blame when the conservatives try to paint Dion as the one who forced an election that no one wants? Somehow I think he will be quiet on that point.

I maintain that this too will pass. It would be foolish to force an election that could possibly give the conservatives a majority - even IF that is what Layton wants (and it is starting to look that way).

Besides, the liberals should not vote against the speech unless there is a good reason to do so. Dion is correct to wait and see what it actually says. (By the way, where are all the connies complaining about how Layton has decided to vote against the speech without hearing it first? When they though Dion was going to do that over the last budget they were apoplectic).

On the other hand, one of the liberals' big selling points could be that to vote for Layton is to vote for Harper. If the progressives do not want to watch Harper destroy the country they will have to vote Liberal.

Steve V said...

knb

I've noticed lately the meme starting, that Layton "chases microphones". Bingo. That said, you can't expect Layton to not take advantage and paint the Liberals as enablers.

Steve V said...

gayle

"Besides, the liberals should not vote against the speech unless there is a good reason to do so. Dion is correct to wait and see what it actually says."

Yes, it is all speculation, so we should wait and see for sure. I just can't see Harper resisting this chance, the hyper-partisan that he is.

Gayle said...

That may be true Steve, but as some have pointed out in previous threads, if he puts something about the environment or Afghanistan in the speech then he is giving Dion an issue Dion can win on.

I suspect these are the only two issues that would force Dion to vote against him.

We are in for interesting times.

Steve V said...

Interesting indeed :)

northwestern_lad said...

Okay.... Layton basically said that Liberals should be calling on their MP's to vote this speech down. How is that any different than what most Libloggers have been saying???

Jack can say this because he knows, with some of the details of the speech coming out that, that he will not be able to support it. The Cons and NDP are so far apart ideologically that it would take a lot for those two to get together.

As for the environment being a winner for the Liberals... are you kidding me??? They had 13 years to act on that and didn't. Just naming your dog Kyoto does not show your commitment to Kyoto.

Steve V said...

"Okay.... Layton basically said that Liberals should be calling on their MP's to vote this speech down. How is that any different than what most Libloggers have been saying???"

It's not any different, and really why wouldn't he try and exploit this point.

northwestern_lad said...

Is pointing out the obvious really exploiting???? If Dion wasn't worried about saving his own hide, there would be nothing to exploit.

It's hardly Layton's fault for taking the material that Dion is giving him.

Steve V said...

"It's hardly Layton's fault for taking the material that Dion is giving him."

Cam, I said in an earlier post that Layton would use this, which is another reason not to cower. We agree in a sense.

burlivespipe said...

Take this for what it's worth:
Layton doesn't care who's giving the throne speech, it's his job to be 'agin it. Layton isn't selling - he's buying.
His position (and Duceepe's, too) means they never have to worry in this case, it matters not a whiff if he's working with a CON or Liberal gov't as his mind dreams of an NDp castle. If the gov't falls or lives another day, their vote wouldn't be the decider (thanks for the new word Bush!).
All three leaders are eager to paint Dion into a corner, feeling that they've got something to gain.
That a government has NEVER been defeated on a throne speech in our lifetimes should say something. Let Harper lay his boobie traps; let Layton crave the 'high ground' (oh Jack did I say thanks for protecting the Kelowna and Atlantic Accords and universal daycare? Because for a few months more of waiting, you gave that all up to at 29 today...) and Duceepe the fiscal imbalance preposterous dance. I think the wiser thing is to listen to the Thorne speech, digest it and then lay out our own throne speech alternative, not voting down the gov't's. Force them to table the election-causing legislation in the house for all Canadians to see. The last few weeks, the perception is that Harper has wind in his sails; i bet that squall will die down once the public gets a gander of more of his Parliamentary games.

CuriosityCat said...

Harper is too canny to give the LPC Kyoto ammunition. The LPC was relatively ineffective in actually taking steps to implement a Kyoto-type emissions reduction policy, despite being in power for more than a decade, and so its credentials as the best environmental choice for Canadians are tarnished.

Harper could easily state in his Throne Speech that the damage to the country in trying to achieve the Kyoto targets is too great, and his sleight-of-hand intensity targets (worked out with his climate change denier, Bush), is a better answer.

The LPC better have a reasoned argument in response, or they will lose the framing war on this reputed strong point of the Liberals.

So, far, Harper is ahead on points on most issues, and the Liberal leadership has shown itself to be relatively inept in besting him on the issues.

Why should we expect this to change next week?

Mushroom said...

"I suspect these are the only two issues that would force Dion to vote against him."

Gayle,

Not sure about that. There is the budget next February, especially one that calls for a decentralization of federal spending powers.

Afghanistan is neutralized. Layton would vote with Harper on this issue so he can let the PM sink or swim on foreign policy.

Steve V said...

curiosity

The Liberal response should be C-30, I don't think Dion should keep hammering the Kyoto angle, because as time goes on it becomes more and more unrealistic. Emphasis the need to stay true to the partnership, try hard to meet targets and point to Harper's undermining of international consensus, with the Bush smokescreen and the Asia Pacific vascade.


"So, far, Harper is ahead on points on most issues, and the Liberal leadership has shown itself to be relatively inept in besting him on the issues.

Why should we expect this to change next week?"

I was thinking this tonight actually, listening to the fallout surrounding the Afghanistan panel. Why is that the Liberals don't seem to come up with anything, no coups, no manoeuvers. We seem very flat footed at the moment, very ordinary in our thinking.

Cliff said...

Kudos for acknowledging that there is a void.

Will all you Libs with that inane 'Thanks Jack' sidebar - I'm looking at you curiositycat - be taking it down after Dion supports Harper's neo-con agenda either overtly or through attendance games?

lance said...

Cliff, that would not be wise.

The Liberals competition isn't the CPC. It now looks like it's the NDP.

Cliff said...

Fine, then no more aggrieved surprise when we act the same, 'kay?

Steve V said...

"Fine, then no more aggrieved surprise when we act the same, 'kay?"

And, then no more claim of "purity" kay?

Cliff said...

Except what are we competing for?

The progressive vote? That would actually require both parties to be progressive, the whole point is that the Libs aren't really progressive except in campaign rhetoric that they never follow through with unless forced to.

So all the crap about it being Jack's fault that Harper is in power, and not say, massive corruption that destroyed the Liberal Party in Quebec and did enormous damage to the cause of federalism - not to mention wholesale abandonment of progressive politics - is really a breathtakingly blinkered re-writing of history.

We're not the party that had to give back a billion dollars looted from a campaign to try to keep the country together. We're not the party that abandoned any attempt to meet Kyoto's goals, we're not the party that looted and gutted UI, and it's not our fault the party that is responsible for those things is lying in a bloody heap.

Internal squabbling, anti-scab and Dion's recent groveling to Bay street make it clear the lesson hasn't been learned.

As long as the Liberal Party is trapped in cheesy 'stabbed in the back' mythology they can't deal with the real rot that has put them where they are.

Man up and step up or get the hell out of the way.

Steve V said...

cliff

In the other thread you called us "loonie lefties" in the Liberal Party, now here not a progressive to be found. Make up your mind.

Mushroom said...

Steve,

Cliff is truly enjoying us stewing in our misery while fighting windmills.

He has refused my pleas for mercy in the past two days :(

Cliff said...

Actually I haven't called anyone loonie lefties - there's apparently another Cliff - note that his name doen't lead to a profile as mine does.

I call you loonie righties. : )