Thursday, June 12, 2008

"I Welcome The Debate"

The NDP has it's plan for carbon, but I took Jack Layton at his word, that he "welcomed the debate" on environmental approaches, in reaction to the Liberal and Green angle. Layton wants a serious discussion, and is quite comfortable putting his ideas out there as the best policy. So, with that in mind, when I see this picture of Layton validating the Conservative smear machine, it frankly makes him look like an opportunist.

How can Layton stand there, point at the t-shirt and pose for a picture? Let me get this straight, the high minded NDP leader, who rises everyday in the House, who preaches that the NDP doesn't want to engage in the "gotcha" politics, the low signal approach to politics, doesn't run away from the yellow gutter? No, Layton sees an opportunity, nevermind the vehicle, and he stands there and endorses it. You pose with the representatives of the "do nothing" Conservatives, knowing full well that its a propaganda campaign, because you instantly realize it HELPS your cause, you effectively pimp out your supposed principles for perceived advantage. I guess they're right, when they say a picture says a thousand words. As a matter of fact, that's pretty much the book on Layton right there.


Raphael Alexander said...

Ouch! Vicious. I personally wouldn't judge the man by that picture alone, but he lost my respect a long time ago over a myriad of other reasons.

Steve V said...

"Ouch! Vicious."

Is it really?

JimmE said...

Layton & his partner Ms Chow are media mugging dicks!
Sorry that is a tad on the personal side, let me focus on facts:
1. The voice of little man (see the Cohen Bros. OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU) the Laytons lived in subsidized housing, while they were BOTH Toronto City councilors - & don't even start with the "we need to have a cross section of people in social housing crap" - they saw an opportunity & queue jumped!
2. To Hear Jack, when the windmill at the CNE opened - he claimed the whole thing was his EFFing idea, to listen to him one would think it was his breath that powers the thing - hmmm given all the gas outa him, perhaps he does!
3. When my brother-in-law & neighbors attempted to get their neighborhood in East end TO cleaned up ie, dealing with vagrants, coffee shops selling more beer than coffee, graffiti, and the like his reply was: these people have needs too - not in your EFFING alley I wager Jackster!
4. After listening to these two dolts talk about the anti idling by-law I attempted to get Ms Chow to do something about it. Specifically a delivery truck that made deliveries to the same store adjacent to a client of mine, that would idle for up to 2 1/2 hours the two days a week I would visit this client. After more than a year she & her staff did sweet tweet! Oh, but we have an other Effing Dipper do-nothing by-law on the books!
I could go on, they have done at least one good thing. In an attempt to ram Ms Chow's former assistant in as City Councilor - whoopsie daisy! Adam Vaughn got in as a result of this so-called power couple, flexing their muscles. Earth to Laytons, eventually if you patronize people too long, we little people will just tell you to go - join a philatelist club!
These two are the poster kids for the cliche Dipper; earnest, patronizing, do-nothing, Media hogs. She won't be back after the next election, but sadly I think he will & more sadly still; Do-Noth'n-Dave the Mayor of TO will appoint her to some public sugar tit where she can continue what these two do best - Not a good gall darned thing!

Blues Clair said...

Poor ol' Jack. I think this will be his last election. I like the man and understand why he must do what he must do, though the NDPs rhetoric about taking Mr. Harper on drives me up the wall.

Stephen said...

As a non-partisan progressive I would like to think that Jack is above that that kind of cheap political opportunism, and often he is, but that doesn't look very good.

Greg said...

I have no problem with Jack making fun of Liberals. However, he should try to be more inventive than to piggyback onto an Conservative initiative. I give him 4 points for having the right idea, but only 1 point for originality.

Oh, and I would be careful about tossing out the label "do nothing" when referring to other parties. You support a party that "did nothing" to decrease carbon, the whole time they were in office.

catherine said...

I see this first appeared on Stephen Taylor's blog. A year or so ago, Taylor also posted his interview with Layton where Taylor started by thanking him for agreeing to be interviewed by a Conservative and Layton responded with "better than a Liberal". This stuff gets posted on conservative sites, but you won't typically find it on NDP sites.

This behaviour undercuts Layton's own complex message which is meant to be anti-carbon tax but pro-environment. Layton has already taken a few hits on the second part of that message and I would have expected him to be more careful now. I guess not.

Harold said...

Dion has a credibility problem - or rather his party does.

Remember when Jack Layton said that the Liberals would never elect Dion as leader of the party because he was too ethical?

Turns out Jack was wrong on that particular prediction but not by much as one might think. The Liberals are uncomfortable with Dion because he does have principles. They made him cry uncle on Afghanistan, they told him not to stand on principle because it would provoke an election they might lose (even though the polls were relatively close).

The NDP and the Conservatives and, yes Stéphane Dion, are serious about policy. The Liberal party is not. Policy is a mere means to an end - the end being getting power and holding on to it.

That's why the Liberals could campaign to eliminate the GST with no intention of doing so. Why for them Kyoto was a feel-good photo op. Actually following through only became a priority when they left office. Paul Martin has become the Indians' best friend - since he left office. While in power he did nothing, sorry I won't count the Kelowna photo-op.

My point? Layton was only slightly off with on his prediction that they'd never pick Dion as leader because he was too principled and ethical to be leader of the party: they actually did pick him but now they know they made a mistake. The "Montreal mistake" as Travers calls it.

Read Chanal Hébery in today's Star or go to National Newswatch to read it. The Libeal party will be making it mighty hot summer for Stéphane. Maybe the NDP can make room for a principled politician like him, they share many policy positions, even on the environment.

northwestern_lad said...

Steve... with all due respect, I think you're over-reacting here. Jack is known for stoping, taking pictures and being generally coridal with just about everyone, regardless of their political stripes or views. Just because he's being friendly to a bunch of misguided Con staffers that's grounds for throwing him under the bus??? Come on.

Also, if that picture was of Jack stopping and talking with those lovely Young Liberals running around Ottawa in their "Explain the Tape" van, I doubt that you would be chastizing him.

This is just a sign of how poisoned things have become, when someone can't stop and take a picture with a couple of misguided kids without being accused of the worst. I don't agree with what the Cons did that day but sorry Steve, but this attack isn't "helping the debate" either.

catherine said...

A smile and a handshake would typically be considered friendly and cordial behaviour. Purposely pointing at a carbon-tax attack ad while posing for a picture is something else. Stephen Taylor, and the NDP supporter who posted there, understand this.

Anonymous said...

The NDP agrees with the Conservatives that the so-called Carbon Tax is a crock. Where they disagree is in what should be done instead.

Similarly, in the early 80s both the NDP and the Tories opposed the National Energy Policy for totally different reasons - but they still both voted against it in Parliament

Johny said...

Be real, Cam. Stephane would have taken these misanthropic interns DOWN with a flying scissor kick.

Liberal attack ad: "Jack Layton: far too cordial."

You go, Steve.

northwestern_lad said...

Johny... "Stephane would have taken these misanthropic interns DOWN with a flying scissor kick."

Is that what happened to those Liberal staffers who showed up at the RCMP raid on the Conservatives HQ with cameras in tow??? I don't think so... That was very real.

northwestern_lad said...
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northwestern_lad said...
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northwestern_lad said...

Catherine.... when I look at that picture, it looks very sarcastic to me. Do you think that Jack posses in that kind of way for everyone? Lord no. But I guess that sarcasim is lost on you guys today.

Sean S. said...

mole hill meet mountain....

Gayle said...

If Layton posed with those guys just to be friendly, then he is not a hypocrite, but he is colossally stupid.

What kind of politician poses for a photo like that and does not expect it to be used for partisan purposes?

I think Layton is many things, but stupid is not oen of them.

Freddy said...

So Layton mugged for a couple of sarcastic pics with the Tiny Tories on a blisteringly hot day. This is in no way significant. What is significant is that Dion used to be against a carbon flat tax because it would hurt the poor. Now he's calling for a carbon tax only because he knows Harper is against it. Dion is losing the debate because he's playing politics with the environment.

catherine said...

Freddy, I haven't looked into why Dion previously argued against a carbon tax, but if it was "because it would hurt the poor", then I would say Dion has learned something since. Any carbon pricing (cap and trade or tax) is regressive and that needs to be explicitly dealt with. Since the costs are more predictable in a carbon tax scheme, this is more straightforward than in a cap and trade scheme. However, with some thought, one should be able to accomodate this in any carbon pricing scheme.

Steve V said...


It's the pointing to the t-shirt that is distasteful.

Mountain out of mole hill? No, not at all, just pointing to a minor contradiction between the rhetoric and reality. If you want to have a serious debate on the issue, then you don't endorse the lowest form of political discourse.


"You support a party that "did nothing" to decrease carbon, the whole time they were in office."

First off, I didn't vote for them. Second, if that were entirely true, how is that the Tories stole all of their "nothing" initiatives? I mean, you can't lift "nothing" can you??


"Policy is a mere means to an end - the end being getting power and holding on to it."

You know what I love about you guys, the way you all puppet the same, tired lines.
The Cons are the party of policy?? If that were true, then they wouldn't be running on FUMES for the last few months, waiting for the summer to DEVELOP some new ideas. And, you will recall, we went through the same policy vacuum last year, which was AMAZING, given this party had 13 years out of power to develop something. Give me a break.

MERBOY said...

Harold said...

"The NDP and the Conservatives and, yes Stéphane Dion, are serious about policy. The Liberal party is not. Policy is a mere means to an end - the end being getting power and holding on to it"

By that logic the Conservatives' GST cut was "serious policy" and not a colossal waste of money used to get the Conservative Party votes?