Saturday, September 12, 2009

Reborn Parliamentarians

Word is the NDP will preach "working together" when Parliament reconvenes. Layton was interviewed today, and offered this argument:
Layton called on the party leaders to "put some of these partisan considerations -- the focus on how many seats you've got, how large your caucus is, and so on -- aside and instead get results for people that are in need."

I know what my reaction was, but in order to get a fresh perspective, out of the partisan realm, I decided to email this position to an acquaintance for a "non-invested" take. He was kind enough to send me a video response:



It's not just me.

39 comments:

marta said...

Me too Exactly the same way!!!

Northern PoV said...

Maybe Jack has fallen for the new ads:

"a new series of government ads – paid by taxpayers – appear to echo the anti-election lines that Conservative politicians have been using... snip ....The government’s new taxpayer-funded $4.1-million TV ad campaign to tout the stimulus package – purchased in August – airs commercials that include the tag line: “We can’t stop now.”

Steve V said...

"Nobody wants to see the stimulus spending end and that's what an election would do," said NDP MP Jean Crowder.

DL said...

It is funny and I think it was intended that way. Harper and Iggy are busy comparing dick sizes while everyone is worried about when their EI will run out.

Steve V said...

DL

I bet Jack even reads this Conservative EI legislation. Good stuff, even if it comes because they're broke and their own strategists think they'll lose seats.

Don't hide behind principles, we all exactly what's up here. Didn't Jack want an election in June? What's changed? Oh yes, no more bravado after we took away the walker.

Steve V said...

"It's like that cough medicine - you know, it tastes bad, but sometime you've gotta take it." Jack Layton Aug 21 on looming election

Swallow hard Jack, swallow hard.

Gayle said...

I am not sure I care if Layton is trying to make a deal.

It helps solidify the fact that Harper wants this election. He has been offered a pretty generous olive branch by the NDP, but he would prefer to send Canadians to an election over negotiating in good faith with opposition.

In other words, he has proven Ignatieff right.

Steve V said...

Gayle

That is a great point. Layton putting the ball in Harper's court allows us some validation when this "soothing tone" fails. Even if they manage to avoid an election in the next couple weeks, there is no way this arrangement can last (unless I've actually underestimated Jack's desperation). When it fails, you have another party making the argument that you can't work with these guys.

Whatever, those two can do what they want, we'll just oppose and mock ;)

Jerry Prager said...

Jack may just be doing what Harper is doing, keeping his job in a recession, because once this election happens, both men are out of their leadership jobs, even if they do win their seats.

Tomm said...

Steve & Gayle,

Your thinking that Jack's sincere and hearfealt olive branch will box Harper into a cooperative response.

Who knows, our PM is a big man with a generous heart...

But, it doesn't box him in because most people will be rolling on the floor with laughter, just like your friend.

Gayle said...

Not at all Tomm. I believe this offer just exposes the fact that Harper is unwilling to do what it takes to stave off an election. That is because the man refuses to work with the duly elected representatives of 60% of the population. That is because the man holds anyone who does not agree with him in contempt.

I am just happy that Layton is as willing to expose that as the LPC.

Skinny Dipper said...

You know, I think Harper and his gang will state that the NDP's conditions are too onerous. Harper will probably go to the GG before the House of Commons holds a vote of confidence. Harper will pull the plug.

Gayle said...

I don't know about that. Looks like Harper is trying to woo Layton. Perhaps the love in has begun???

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/09/12/election-positioning.html

Steve V said...

Does he really want to go to the GG, such an overt move to force another election? I think they would much rather be defeated.

Steven said...

and that may have been Jack's calculation...throw out the option and when SH does not take it....the true colours will be seen.
Not sure JL is that politically astute though...he is probably scared for his political life right now...his numbers are pretty low.

Big Winnie said...

I can't see the NDP propping up the government. Harper will introduce an omnibus bill which will contain poisoned pills and force the other parties to vote against it, thus causing an election.

Steven said...

yeah...SH wants an election as he feels he can win a majority (help me please!!!!)....
we are going to the polls soon...whether we want an election or not it is happening

Backseat Blogger said...

well... if nothing else the dippers' free ride ends this week.

they've had an easy go of it so far because they could rely on the grits sustaining the government.

since the dippers have no where to go but down, it'll be interesting to watch layton attempting to avoid an election he surely must not want.

Mark Francis said...

It seems Harper only does anything potentially of value when his back is forced to the wall.

Personally, if Jack makes a deal, Harper will betray it. He'll push all the opposition days until the end of the session, dangle a treat before Christmas along with tons of PR and tactics to make it hard to defeat him, and then a good news (BS) budget in the Spring and pull the plug himself when the poll numbers look best. The needed EI reforms won't go in, or won't last, especially if Harper gets a majority.

Don't take the bribe, Jack.

Steve V said...

When the Libs secured that EI panel, I saw no upside. Harper already said he wanted to expand benefits, it was in their platform. He'd wedge us on the egilibility, then just present what he wanted anyways and force something. Now that we won't play, he's preparing to dangle pretty much what he wanted anyways to the NDP, as though this is an olive branch. This is Harper's reform and he's hoping Layton will jump to attach his name to it. Layton may get one more item, something token for a talking point, but Harper is the driver, always was on these "reforms".

Liberals understand operating from a position of weakness, the NDP are tasting that predicament. Short of complete capitulation, Layton will do everything to avoid an election. All I've wanted, and I've still yet to hear one supporter admit it, this isn't a principled stance, it's a calculated decision, based on nothing to do with EI in the purest sense. Give me something so I don't have to commit potential suicide. That's the motivation, we know it well :)

Tomm said...

Harper is interested in derailing Liberal planning. If he thinks he can irritate the Liberal's by working with the NDP, he may.

Harper doesn't lose anything by working with Layton, in fact it makes him look generous, which of course he is.

Layton becomes the loser by having his supporters see him breaking break with the evil one.

Minority politics is like a soap opera.

Joseph said...

Tomm,

In reading your comments earlier today and your concise take on this topic, you make really good points. Even though I don't always agree completely. I do want to apologize for getting all in a huff about our differences of opinions about polling. I pre- and mis-judged.

DL said...

Everyone knows there will be an election this Fall. Its all about positioning at this point. The NDP wants to position itself as the party that tried to make parliament work and that will try to make parliament work in the next minority parliament.

I'm not sure which "NDP strategists" Steve claims confide in him. From what I hear, the NDP will spend the maximum allowed by law and is targetting a host of mostly Tory held seats in the west as well as a handful in Atlantic Canada and Ontario. They are feeling quite bullish about gaining more seats.

rockfish said...

I'd suggest that Gayle's theory is very possible, with the caveat that Harper's aim is to incite both his supporters and the Blocs, to make it look like a sovereignty showdown is necessary "because its blocking a majority."
Many of Harper's supporters will gladly tell you that they wish Quebec would just leave. Harper could say he tried to build a federalist vision in La Belle province and came up against a wall. By throwing gasoline now (and if the Liberals don't benefit) he could use turn again to raising the public's irrational ire (ala the coalition, except ones sought by Mr. Harper) to say that there needs to be some real federalist action against the Bloc, essentially telling Quebec to FO. Well, he's shown no inclination to put nation building ahead of Harper building...

Steve V said...

DL

I remember hearing about how we would spend the max to, last election. Lavigne isn't a source, he's media relations.

Gayle said...

Tomm - I do not think it derails the liberals if Harper makes a deal with Layton. I think the liberals win with or without an election.

Harper and Layton are in a bit of a squeeze though. I admit I was surprised to see CPC MP's basically mocking the NDP in the media. Harper needs to boost Layton's fortunes - he does not want to go into an election when the NDP are down. At the same time, he does not want to be seen as working with those "socialists" - even though he has been working with Layton for years now in their joint effort to bring down the LPC.

For Layton, he really cannot afford to go into an election right now. His party needs money, and his numbers are down.

Therefore it makes sense for both parties to come to some sort of compromise where they believe they can both declare victory.

I believe a compromise will be made and there will not be an election this fall. I am not so sure both parties will not take a hit from their base for the compromise.

Tomm said...

Rockfish,

You said:

"...Well, he's shown no inclination to put nation building ahead of Harper building..."

Good God. Even while he is in the room, the Harper Haters have moved right into revising history around him.

It was Harper that welcomed Quebec into Canada as a "nation". It was Harper that strengthened Charest by devolving the federal funding powers to provinces. It was Harper that gave Quebec a seat at international conferences. It was Harper (and ONLY Harper) that quit banging the unity drum like some Hari Krishna mantra.

Steve V said...

"I do not think it derails the liberals if Harper makes a deal with Layton. I think the liberals win with or without an election."

That's what a PS said today on the news, it's a no lose situation for the Libs, maybe even preferrable if the NDP props them up. I'm quite content to sit on the sidelines and watch Layton deal with the rattlesnake, in the same way the NDP loved the reverse. It's bound to fail at some point, there's no ideological affinity here, so either they have massive sellouts or it's temporary at best. Meanwhile, we oppose, all this "weak" stuff evaporates, and we ready and ready.

You only get rewarded for a avoiding an election in the near team, if at all (see June), because eventually you do vote against and that's the final frame. Whatever, the Libs have no problem if the NDP come to terms with the neocons. We're free from the shackles and the ridicule.

Tomm said...

Gayle,

Andrew Coyne agrees with you.

I'm more in the camp that it will happen. Unless the NDP ties itself into a pretzel, I can't see them supporting Harper's EI reforms, or anything else. NDP has been as clear as crystal on their disdain, hate, and loathing of Harper and his party of orcs and goblins.

The NDP loses here. The CPC base doesn't mind Harper working with the NDP if he isn't giving up much and it hurts the Liberals or Bloc.

I think there will be an election and the Canadian people will be pissed.

Steve V said...

"I think there will be an election and the Canadian people will be pissed."

And, it will evaporate after two days, just like every other election where they're pissed. Tomm, you do realize that the same percentage didn't want an election in 2008, right? Wow, that really cost Harper. I remember all those discussions about it post writ.

Gayle said...

Tomm - the NDP have been clear about their disdain when it was easy to be so clear.

Not so easy now.

In any event, if there is an election, Layton is doing his best to ensure that Harper shares the blame for refusing to compromise.

Tomm said...

It is clearly open to debate, which is what makes it so interesting.

rockfish said...

"I think there will be an election and the Canadian people will be pissed."

It it is so, what makes you think that Harper won't be wearing it? If anything, its the Liberals who can point to doing their best, putting up with the most to give Harper a chance. Just as 79 can be used as a bad number, it also shows the opposite. Then there are the secret books on creating chaos on committees, the constant shell game, lies and the liars who pitch them, and the inability to stick to one storyline at once without going negative. Tell me Tomm, who's been campaigning, running actual campaign-style negative ads, virtually since he was first elected? Seems to me that shows a willingness to disengage, not engage the other parties and leaders.
Your leader could just as likely wear the blame. I know you think he should be credited for the sun rising tomorrow, and you don't think much of the Canadian public's ability to see the truth on their own. But give them time. They'll figure out your one-trick bitter pony. Even Diefenbaker had his charm beyond his paranoia.

DL said...

I really wish one of the polling companies would ask some questions about who people blame for the election. Eg:

If we end up having an election this Fall who do you think is to blame for it? Harper and the Conservatives for not being able to work with any of the opposition parties or the opposition parties for voting down the government?

Or, even just an open ended question like: Which party is most to blame if we end up having an early election?

Steve V said...

That would be interesting. I think Harper would get a lot of blame, but I also think we would at the moment, because it is our move that is putting this all into motion. Probably not a great result from our perspective, but it won't matter in the end, unless this election is a sudden anomaly.

Tomm said...

Steve,

In the Montreal Gazette today, L. Ian MacDonald's editorial suggests the voters will blame Ignatieff.

Tomm said...

rockfish,

The Liberal's certainly have lots of ammunition from the committee blocking manuals to the EI mess.

We just happen to disagree on what is both important and will resonate.

Me thinks one of us will be right.

rockfish said...

Oh no, Lian Macdonald is siding with the Harpers? That rarely happens... The half a dozen people who take his opinions seriously likely all passed away before 1998...

Steve V said...

Tomm

What next, a Preston Manning op-ed? What a hack that guy is, it's almost as bad as Duffy.