Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Thing About Jack

Does the political antenna need to be on 24/7? Is it possible to stop computing the tactical angle with every sentence uttered? People will note, I have been complimentary of the NDP of late, so please don't take this criticism as purely partisan- Jack Layton can be a real smuck. The obsession with over-taking the Liberals translates to exploiting every issue that passes Layton's gaze. The latest example, Layton sides with the Conservatives over Coderre:
In Toronto, federal NDP Leader Jack Layton had criticism for Mr. Coderre's solo trek.

“Involving individual MPs in a sort of ‘stunt-like' visit does pose risks.... I'm not on the ground to assess that. But you have to respect the judgement of our military leadership,” Mr. Layton told CTV NewsNet.

There are a lot of other ways to find out what's going on, on the ground in Afghanistan, he added.

“Being part of official visits is one, being in touch with the NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) and working with them, which is what we've done. They're on the ground there now, listening to the UN reports,” said Layton.

Layton offers no criticism of the government's ignoring Coderre's repeated requests, something which no one in the DOD has denied, yet he sees fit to call the trip a "stunt". Layton suffers from Liberal tunnel vision, which clouds his perspective.

Last week, the Liberals were engaged in an internal war of words over Jamie Carroll. What was actually said, seems to be a matter of opinion, but what I found interesting, the fact that Layton found it necessary to comment:
NDP Leader Jack Layton called on Mr. Dion to take "strong action" over the remarks, which he said "deeply saddened him."

I know the obvious retort, but Layton shouldn't make comments about a closed-door Liberal meeting, particularly when the facts were in dispute. To be frank, I almost gagged when I heard the "deeply saddened" comment- I hope Jack's mood has improved after this traumatic event.

Layton and the NDP are in pretty good shape overall. However, the kneejerk political opportunism that Layton forever displays is a decided turnoff, and I don't think it does anything for NDP fortunes. Layton essentially gives the government a pass on Coderre, and I don't see the position as necessarily principled, but simply more of the same old bash the Liberals at every turn. Boring and predictable, but worst of all a total contradiction of the principle first fascade. Two cents.

UPDATE

Ditto

18 comments:

Robert McClelland said...

Layton offers no criticism of the government's ignoring Coderre's repeated requests

How do you know he didn't? CP can easily stand for Conservative Press so it's just as likely that the CP writer left any criticism of the government out of the story.

Steve V said...

"How do you know he didn't?"

Robert, I await the criticisms, but I'm not holding my breath, given the "stunt" comment. Seems Layton's perspective is quite clear, media bias aside.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

You know it's not him being a schmuck any more than it's Dion being the screechy hyperpartisan they've turned him into, right? This is our political culture. This is what we do. We take intelligent people with nuanced visions of policy and a desire to serve their country, put them in front of a camera, and turn them into whiny children.

Believe me, I hate it at least as much as you do.

I do agree with Robert that it's much more likely that the journalist who did the story just didn't include the criticism of the government, though. Layton's pre-programmed speeches always include both a criticism of the government and a criticism of the Liberals. It's The Way Of Things.

Steve V said...

"This is our political culture."

Which explains why nobody pays attention anymore :)

Robert McClelland said...


Which explains why nobody pays attention anymore :)


Then stop adding to it. This nonsense that Layton and the NDP are constantly going after the Liberals while ignoring the Conservatives only fuels voter cynicism. If you want to see the truth, bypass the media filter and go directly to the source. I see a whole lot of criticism directed at the Conservatives and very little at the Liberals.

Steve V said...

"Then stop adding to it. This nonsense that Layton and the NDP are constantly going after the Liberals while ignoring the Conservatives only fuels voter cynicism."

Oh come on Robert. You act like this is some construction, it's reality. I suggest you go back to the Hansard, starting after the election and re-read Layton's questions. When you find almost every question referencing the Liberals, then you might see why the meme exists.

I'm not adding to anything, I'm disappointed that Layton chooses to side with MacKay and I read it as PURE calculation.

Anonymous said...

Layton would have been better off saying nothing. He looks like he's siding with Harper again and that does not go over well with NDP supporters - at least the ones I know. If act, quite a few people I know who are/were NDP supporters can't stand Layton. Some are going over to the Green and some are willing to side with Liberals (hold their noses) because they'd like to see Layton gone and because they are so against the CPC.

Layton better watch his back - Mulcair is going to be his nemsis (that's my opinion). I saw Marc Garneau interviewed by Don Newman - the NDP has approached Garneau to go with them (Mulcair) - Garneau said no - he's a Liberal and when asked by Newman about Mulcair he said with an interesting look on his face "he's charming". Apparently Mulcair is a loose cannon - this could get interesting.

Why isn't Layton making a statement about Harper politiking by sending Bernier and Oda over there on "Thanksgiving"? This is no less crass.

Anonymous said...

On Friday, even Susan Delacourt said it's a stunt. "Of course its a stunt" said the Star's biggest Liberal cheerleader on Newman's Politics. Why is it you dupes can't see it for what it is? Everyone and his dog hase been on an Afghanistan junket in the last several years. Everyone who wanted to go; Libs, NDPs, Cons. Now all of a sudden Coderre wants to go over there in between sittings of Parliament committees and he blames the government? Like Duffy said, never get between Coderre and a camera.

knb said...

How do you know he didn't? CP can easily stand for Conservative Press so it's just as likely that the CP writer left any criticism of the government out of the story.

While you have a point about the CP, I heard the interview with Layton and he had nothing bad to say about the con's. The worse thing he said was that his party had been ignored as well, but then went on to bash Coderre.

wilson said...

Why should Jack side with Liberals, if he thinks they are wrong?

What gives ANY MP the right to break the rules? Especially when lives are at stake.

Not only did Coderre break the Afghan travel rules, he announced the upcoming arrival of Cab Mins....in direct violation of security procedures.

Dion should fire the fool from his Defence critic job,
but then,
Dion is not a leader and will likely whine something about 'it's not fair'.

Greg said...

Layton better watch his back - Mulcair is going to be his nemsis (that's my opinion). I saw Marc Garneau interviewed by Don Newman - the NDP has approached Garneau to go with them (Mulcair) - Garneau said no - he's a Liberal and when asked by Newman about Mulcair he said with an interesting look on his face "he's charming". Apparently Mulcair is a loose cannon - this could get interesting.

Ya, the NDP should take advice on leadership management from the Liberals, lol.

Susan said...

I don't think people realize how much disdain a large proportion of the left have for Layton and his NDP. They used the concerns of left leaning Liberals about Martin (that he was too right) and people's intense dislike of Harper and said "lend us your votes" and in quite a few ridings this worked. Then immediately he started bashing the Liberals and he hasn't stopped.

The result is that he is seen by many not as a man of principle but a two-faced political opportunist.

I personally would like to see the end of that party - it's just keeping us from getting the government the majority of Canadians want - a party with a genuine centre left platform.

Steve V said...

"On Friday, even Susan Delacourt said it's a stunt. "Of course its a stunt" said the Star's biggest Liberal cheerleader on Newman's Politics. Why is it you dupes can't see it for what it is?"

Was that the same roundtable that Newman said they the Cons should have arranged the trip and Russo called it petty? I think it was....

Steve V said...

wilson

Is that all you, troll non-Con blogs? You're such a bore, you really are.

Ti-Guy said...

Who cares what Layton says. In this case, he said exactly nothing useful.

Steve V said...

Just to add to this CP angle, I just watched Layton on CTV, during a live, unedited interview. Pretty much verbatum what was said in the CP article, down to the word "stunt".

burlivespipe said...

Typical CON hypocrites. Funny now they are 100 per cent behind a Liberal decision, but of course that would be one they wouldn't want to waiver on, knowing that it could interfere with their 'Star! Exclusive photo ops with the soldiers!'
Can you tell me how many parliamentary delegations were permitted to travel to Afghanistan during the Martin minority govt and since Harper took over? Do you know that the PMO office still retains right of refusal on all clearances -- ie governor general?
C'mon, Oda and Bernier were there to get more khaki shots for the CON election pamphlets, and to spin some better headlines for the small-town local media in their ridings.
What would happen if they were kidnapped? Likely Harper would just wax poetically about their contribution to the New Canadian Gov't and then file their belongings beside Michael Chong's...
While it matter not whether there is an election coming this fall and the timing of Coderre's visit, Layton remains permanently working the point on the CONs second checking line.
Once a bench player, always a bench player. Nice to see he got the talking points' memo.

burlivespipe said...

Hey Robert,
too bad Jack's too busy proving you are wrong... here's another story where all his guns are aimed at the Grits and Dion, oh the guy who he once said was principled and a good cabinet minister!
That Jack, he's nothing if not transparent. Good thing the girls in Afghanistan don't need an education, right?

http://www.straight.com/article-112604/liberal-war-record-under-fire