Wednesday, March 09, 2011

NDP Have Crossed The Rubicon

It would appear the NDP are now on board with a spring election. Events are changing rapidly in Ottawa, what was a budget debate has now turned to "pre-emptive strikes", and with that an entirely different and more equivocal NDP tone. While Martin doesn't speak for the party, these comments seem representative of an evolving posture:
Liberals and New Democrats told the Toronto Star they hope to use the so-called in-and-out election spending scandal and other missteps as the springboard to Election Day 2011.

“We want to fight them on our playing field. Why not fight them on their lack of ethics, scandals and political corruption. We want home field advantage,” NDP MP Pat Martin told the Star Tuesday.

“Why let them spin us with their own tax dollar (with the budget) when we can take them down clean and simple with rigged elections, forged documents, Stephen Hubris naming the government after himself,” said Martin, who added he plans to raise in the Commons further evidence of Conservative election fraud with respect to phony local polling during the 2006 campaign.

The same logic I argued the other day, the Liberals latest tactic makes it "morally impossible" as Hebert points out, for any opposition party to support the government. On the budget, there is room for negotiation, although I would submit the NDP seem increasingly resigned to no deal in the offing. On a question of ethics, wiggle room is at a premium and judging by Martin's comments, other NDP figures yesterday, they seem entirely prepared to support the Liberal strategy.

If an election looks likely, why let the government pass out goodies in a budget, when you can short circuit the process and take them out on ethics? Martin calls it "home field advantage", I see ethics as the chief Achilles heel, far more fertile than a budget springboard. The Liberal attempt means the NDP would have to side with the Conservatives on their ethical record, an almost unfathomable scenario.

There has been plenty of talk about divided opinion within the NDP ranks. Seems a reasonable storyline, considering the stakes and the complicated nature of budget support. However, the balance seemed to tipping to the pro-election argument, and now that the Liberals have opened up a new front, all indications are of a more "ready to go" NDP.

Again, things are changing quickly, but it would appear the NDP have crossed the Rubicon, hard to see how we pull back from here.


Shiner said...

Funny how team 2012 is clinging to this idea that the NDP will cave and the Liberals know they will cave. What a bizarre risk for the Libs to take. Don't know how anyone could accept this as just some tactical stunt.

Jerry Prager said...

The corporatist media, the ones owning 80% of all the news spin in Canada, will still be pulling for Harper and the creation of a fascist state in Canada, liberal democracy is the only battlefield. Need to follow the Green Party's book, very few ads on TV, just smart funny ones with bite, with an invitation to join the real campaign on the web. Save money, use online resources, more Canadians use the web than any other nation, why pour resources down the drain of corporatist media when they will do nothing but use your own money against you ? Time to think like mammals, and less like dinosaurs.
Rapid deployment.

Tof KW said...

Nice to see the NDP now look at the what’s best for Canada's future, instead of what’s best for Layton's future. OK my shot at Jack aside, seriously I’m happy to see they’re finally on board with this. I guess I have to re-evaluate my insistence that there is no spring election, and I’ll now side with everyone else and say chances are good we’re heading to the polls.

If I can suggest a good tactic for any Libs involved in panel discussions, when your Reformatard opponent brings up Adscam - and they will – then reply with:

“Oh good, then you agree that your party broke the law and misspent tax dollars, and you now deserve the same fate; because you obviously didn’t learn what we did from the sponsorship affair.”

That should help shut them up and neuter Adscam from hence forth. Part and parcel to launching an accountability and democratic reform platform, this should be an effective burial for that stupid argument.

Shiner said...

That should help shut them up and neuter Adscam from hence forth.

Are you taking bets on that TofKW? Adscam has reached NEP territory, that is, beyond the limits of rational discussion and debate and into the realm of Conservative myth.

Paul said...

"more Canadians use the web than any other nation"

While Canada does have a high number of population using the internet we are not the highest.
Japan, South Korea, Great Britian, and Germany all have higher internet usage. The United States is only a fraction of a percent behind us as well. If the Liberal party wants to make some noise with "the regular Joe" then they should be touting a platform that gets rid of the CRTC and start talking about getting Canada up to speed with some of these other nations. Canada is going behind, not forward when you compare what other countries are doing with their digital services.

Steve V said...

Apart from the diehards, I think Adscam is worthless as a political tool now- and I say this as someone who didn't vote for the Lib in 2006. They can keep bringing it up, but I don't see the issue resonating anymore, particularly know that the white knights are now bruised and battered. It's just an esoteric rallying cry now, sort of reeks of desperation.

Tof KW said...

Are you taking bets on that TofKW?

Oh, they'll keep rehashing it Shiner, so I'm not as carefree with my money as the CPC is with it.

It's not meant to change the die-hard Reformatard's opinions - rather it's a punch to shake loose the CPC's soft-supporters and those valuable undecideds out there.

Basically a page from the same Republican party playbook that the CPC has been utilizing for years. Take you're opponent's best argument, and turn it around to make it work against them.

By dredging up Adscam, turn it around to say the Libs were punished and learned from the mistake - now the CPC must pay the same price.

A Eliz. said...

I see the media as the SS, trying to help their Furer..what in gods name is this country becoming..Does Harper have something on the media..hypnotized, along with the rest of his followers. Do you really think an election will get rid of this?
Layton won't be able to do as much as he wants to.

Tof KW said...

A Eliz, ever hear of this?

Really the news outlets (outside of the SUN chain and a few elements in the NP) are not CPC-friendly, as much as they are affected by budget cuts and media convergence. Also they've been effectively frightened out of being harsh on the Harperbots should they decide to cut off all interview & info access.

Once the media get any indication that this government is in serious trouble and may not survive, watch them begin to give the Libs much more coverage. They'll want to be in Iggy's good books should he become PM.

BTW - I'm actually not very happy typing these thoughts. Our media has become a shadow of its former self thanks to Harper's tactics, and I don't relish the thought of them being easy on the Libs when they form any future governments. They are supposed to keep watch on anyone in power.

Kirk said...

The Conservatives first used the surplus to pass out goodies in their budgets then used deficit spending to pass out more goodies in the last 2 budgets.

There's no reason to think they won't use the upcoming budget to pass out more goodies.

Steve V said...

And, it looks like the deficit will be lower than last year forecast. Flaherty looks relatively good, it allows him to put off the tough calls, can massage numbers to make a balanced budget look realistic in four years. This budget will steal ideas from both Libs and NDP, so why give them the platform?

Shiner said...

This article by Ivison paints a pretty picture of Tories under siege:

Kirk said...

On a semi-related note the full Federal Court of Appeal can be found at :

And it contains this gem where it states the Conservative position:

The Respondents advance three arguments to support their contention that subsection 465(1)requires the CEOC merely to “review” the documents submitted pursuant to it, in order to ensure that all the listed documents had been received, and not to look behind them to verify either that the
election expenses claimed were for costs actually incurred by the candidates in compliance with the Act, or even that the documents were authentic.

end of page 17, beginning of page 18.

...or even that the documents were authentic.

Once again:

...or even that the documents were authentic.

Kirk said...

Oops, the ruling can be found at:

rockfish said...

We can't forget the shrewd, 10-steps forward plotting of Harper. Just as Pat Martin noted in the clip from Steve's previous post, the 2008 election's timing was not coincidentally timed -- it helped keep the digging into in-and-out off the rails; Harper's appointing of bagmen Finley and Co. to the senate also removed them from the heat.
Harper's trying to rag the puck until Fox North gets up and running, where the talking CONbots will rant louder and angrier about 'the conspiracy' and 'nep/sponsorship'... When there are too many channels people start to tune out, surf and let Chuck Sheen stories fill their down time. These latest revelations about Harper and his CON team are disgusting and should result in their removal. At least the Canadian public should have that chance -- if they choose to keep him, then that's the will of the people.

Kirk said...

Now for another semi-off-topic post.

The "official" Government of Canada/Harper certificate that Kenney handed out to the Yang Sheng restaurant can be seen on their web page.

You see the light blue "C" very large in the center of the background and that the minister is also identified as "Conservative Party of Canada" before he is listed as "Minister of Citizenship..."

Kirk said...

Anyone else see the new Con attack ad?

Apparently Ignatieff wants a new $6 billion tax that will "hurt Canadians and their families"... if their families are corporations that is, since this unnamed tax is the Corporate Income Tax cut that the Liberals want reversed.

Nice of the Cons to bring up their corporate income tax cut for us again.

Frankly Canadian said...

We need a NON CONFIDENCE VOTE ASAP! I agree with you about why should we give them the opportunity to use our tax dollars to buy more votes. We need to stop them before they get the chance to release the budget.