Sunday, April 22, 2007

Conservatives LOVE the NDP

It's laughable, listening to Environment Minister John Baird on QP, discussing the revised Clean Air Act. Did you know that the NDP was constructive to the process, but if the government doesn't bring forward the new legislation, it will because of the Liberals and Bloc?

I'm under the assumption, that all the opposition parties are in agreement over the revised bill. If that premise is true, which it is, then the NDP needs to share the blame for the failure to meet Baird's criteria. Again, the Conservatives attempt to separate the NDP from the other opposition parties, in what has become a recurring theme.

NDP supporters are quick to point out that the revised bill has virtually all the tenets of the party platform. Isn't it odd then, that Baird gives the NDP a free pass on the committee's conclusions? Why does the right-wing have such an infatuation with the NDP? Does this continual praise not hint at "backroom" understandings, or are we to be naive, and assume the Conservatives act unilaterally?


Steve V said...

Working to "get things done".

Anonymous said...

Yep Harper is just USING the NDP big time and Layton has given up decades of credibility built by honourable men and women just to stave off the inevitable demise of the party under his leadership. If we had a decent press or academe that is what they would all be analysing.


Karen said...

Didn't he just sound like a buffoon?

NDP=good, worked with the government to keep the Clean Air Act alive. Liberals & Bloq=bad, because they did the same thing. Conservatives commend the NDP for the process, but they are going to ignore it. So, thanks for nothing?

What absolute bafflegab!

BTW, on an earlier program he more or less confirmed that he wants to join the anti-Kyoto group. The interviewers didn't pick up on it unfortunately, but ask me if I'm surprised.

Anonymous said...


It is Layton that voted with the CPC to defeat the Grits on the non-confidence motion. Layton also has rejected the Liberal timetable for withdrawal with regards to Afghanistan calling for an immediate pullout.

The NDP is desperate to make this parliament work. With the Grits seizing on the environment issue, the Dippers are reduced to campaigning on ATM fees if an election is held soon.

This has been the best week for the Grits in opposition since Dion has become leader. The May-Dion deal has left Jack Layton reeling and looking for anything to distinguish the NDP from the Grits.

Cliff said...

Ah, more cognitive dissidence. Lets all ignore that the only party to vote against the government on every single confidence vote is the NDP while the Libs and the Bloc are responsible for sustaining them. Let's ignore that the NDP actually tried to use this minority to get decent environmental policy while the Libs tried to stall the whole process to avoid any kind of progress being achieved on the environment without them in charge. Lets ignore that the Libs joined the Cons to screw working Canadians by sabotaging the anti-scab law - lets ignore any reality that doen't line up with our partisan ideology in other words.

Liberals. Too funny.

Oxford County Liberals said...

What cant be ignored is that the Conservatives have an obvious strategy going on here, trying to laud the NDP at every turn, and NDP supporters are naive if they don't recognize it.

Maybe they don't care.. maybe they hope Tory praise will help them hold their left-of-centre voters who might switch to Liberals... I have my doubts on that however.

Steve V said...

" Lets all ignore that the only party to vote against the government on every single confidence vote is the NDP"

Cliff, that is a hollow talking point in my mind. The NDP has looked at the landscape, where others stood and voted accordingly. It is universal opinion that the NDP desperately wants to avoid an election. Do you really expect us to believe those were principled votes, while the party was polling at 13%? Do you really expect us to believe that Layton wouldn't have found a solution with Martin, had it not been for the tempting poll numbers? If people don't think Layton is a political animal, they aren't paying attention.

"Let's ignore that the NDP actually tried to use this minority to get decent environmental policy while the Libs tried to stall the whole process to avoid any kind of progress being achieved on the environment without them in charge."

I actually criticized the early Liberal reaction, although there was plenty of reason for suspicion. Bottomline, had the other parties not come on line, then there would be nothing. It was a mutual achievement, unless of course you are just interested in looking relevant, rather than something concrete.

I might add, you fail to address the Conservative hypocrisy as it applies to the NDP. Do you not see the transparency? Doesn't it seem strange that Conservatives are complimentary? What is the motivation, and is it just a one-sided love affair?

Anonymous said...

You know darn well the all the parties pretty well know how the other is going to vote - so the NDP voted against the Conserv. when it was "safe" to. Not hard to figure out.

Harper has manipulated Layton since before they brought the Liberals down and Layton's inflated ego doesn't see it.

I hope the NDP supporters don't let him away with it. They should "all" write him. They deserve more honesty from him than they're getting.

What a flipping mess.

Cliff said...

"so the NDP voted against the Conserv. when it was "safe" to"

So... when they knew the Libs were going to support the government then? We're the unprincipled ones, while the Libs carry no blame for being the party that has actually voted to sustain the Conservative minority? Interesting.

Would I rather have a Lib minority than a Con minority? Sure, if it's leader was more realistic than Paul Martin's was. But I'd rather have a minority at all - even a Con minority than a majority for either the Libs or the Cons. More and more Canadians are begining to realize the differences between the Cons and the Libs are more a matter of rhetoric then actual policy.

Steve V said...

"More and more Canadians are begining to realize the differences between the Cons and the Libs are more a matter of rhetoric then actual policy."

You've got to be kidding me. You know what Cliff, some of you delusional purists almost deserve a good 10-15 year Conservative rule, just to wipe away the partisan fog. Why don't you ask Ralph Nader if he still thinks Gore and Bush are the same?

Karen said...

Cliff, why do you really think Layton wanted to work on the Clean Air Act? There was nothing there, it was unnecessary, (CEPA gave the con's what they needed to act), and it was obvious that the entire act would be revamped.

Revamping of course would give Jack an opportunity to finally get "his" environment platform out there, because after all, he was never going to form a majority Government and do that.

Huge coup, if Jack could lay claim to the Environmental plan for Canada, don't you think? Pretty clever really and if the other parties contributed, well, he could still lay claim to having brought everyone together.

Now, I wasn't crazy about the Lib's holding back initially, but at least they were consistent in saying that the Act was unnecessary and that if the Con's really wanted to proceed with a plan, CEPA would enable them to do that.

Then we come to the con's. What did they have to lose? Their Act had been summarily rejected by all and sundry, so they needed more time. Say yes to a committee, that will buy some time, while at the same time, force the opposition to show what their plan/platform is, prior to an election.

Where are we today? The Environment is no further ahead, that much is clear. The Conservatives cherry picked some initiatives and made a slew of re-announcements, (of previous Lib initiatives) and have claimed that the opposition's plans will throw us into a recession.

So, all in all, I'd say the move to work with the con's was a disaster. Jack needed, at the very least, to lay claim to "making Parliament work", he failed.

All along I've been saying that Jack is failing at choosing a smart strategy. It's as if he and policy advisors don't look at all possibile outcomes. They seem to stop thinking when they hit on one possible outcome that suits their needs.

All politicians of course consider strategy, Jack is not alone, I just think he's not doing it very well. Harper too has planned this to the nth degree, but unless Baird comes out with something very solid next week, that imo, will backfire too. Baird may think he can run around scaring everyone, but how many environmentalists and economists do you think the opposition has put together to refute any nonsense claims?

I mean the NDP party and it's members no harm. I do think however that Jack has seen his day, or at the very least, his advisors have.

Karen said...

cliff:Would I rather have a Lib minority than a Con minority? Sure

Then can you explain why everyone in Parliament seems to suggest otherwise. What I mean is, are you comfortable with how NDP caucus seems to be working against that?

Anonymous said...

Last week in QP the Tories tried to use words of Sheila Copps against the Liberals.

Well, well, well. I suggest you read her latest articles - interesting indeed.

Anonymous said...

Cliff - get real. The NDP - the party of the pure and holy, ya right.

They've had their own history - spudscam(much like adscam), O'Learygate, bingogate, etc.

So, get off your high horse.

If the NDP had have been smart they would have elected Bill Blaikie - he's respected by everyone and he hasn't got a big ego and he doesn't play games.

I'm not an NDP supporter but that doesn't take away that there are good and principled people in every party. Layton is NOT one of them.

Tomm said...


I really love the way LPC supporters compare your beautiful party to the American Dem's and the sick evil Tories to Bush, Bushite, neocon, etc.

At least be honest about what you think.

The CPC is not the US Respublican party, and it is not a "fan" of George Bush.

To say so, would be the equivalent of my saying that Dion is Chavez-like, and the Grits remind me of PETA.

You should find that outrageous. Don't be intellectually dishonest in the other direction.


Karen said...

Tomm, I'm not sure what you are speaking to specifically, but as a Lib, I won't compare us to the Dem's.

I think people do that because there really is only that one left/right comparison in the States. Obviously, it is different here.

You won't like it, but I will say that the Con's (in their current incarnation) are employing Republican strategy and if you disagree, I would suggest that you are being intellectually dishonest, my friend.

Greg Fingas said...

It's entirely true that the NDP has just as much stake in the outcome of the committee as the other opposition parties - and if Baird indeed tried to distinguish based on the resulting amendments (rather than referring to the start of the process where only the NDP wanted to make something positive out of the bill), then he's just plain wrong.

But given how dubious the Cons' word is on absolutely every other issue, why is it that the Libs are so eager to consider their spin as gospel when they're trying to define the NDP?

Karen said...

the jurist:why is it that the Libs are so eager to consider their (the con's) spin as gospel when they're trying to define the NDP?

I'm not following. Where do you see that?

lance said...

knb: Tomm was replying to Steve's side-swipe comparison. "Why don't you ask Ralph Nader if he still thinks Gore and Bush are the same?"

knb said: "You won't like it, but I will say that the Con's (in their current incarnation) are employing Republican strategy and if you disagree, I would suggest that you are being intellectually dishonest, my friend."

I agree, the CPC/Lib aren't comparable to Rep/Dem, completely different policies. My question though is what's the issue with using a successful strategy, strategy is non-denominational?

Wasn't that the point of Dean at the Liberal convention? 50 state/308 ridings, etc.


Karen said...

lance:Wasn't that the point of Dean at the Liberal convention? 50 state/308 ridings, etc.

Probably. It was meant to "get the troops" pumped. That said, we haven't followed it verbatim have we?

On the other hand, the current group around Harper has employed every Rove tactic in the book.

It's not that I have an issue with it, but I don't have a problem in pointing it out either.

I'll have to scroll back to see the Nader comment, but if he meant it as spoiler, I would agree, but let me qualify. I think that argument is only valid when the result is obvious. It just goes to obvious splitting of the vote. I know it's far more complex than that, but outside of we wonks, who knows that?

Tomm said...


Lance is correct.


Tomm said...


Harper continues to try to wrong foot the opposition.

Nothing wrong with that. It is similar to Chretien's work against Manning, and Day. How Harper is "working" the NDP is similar to how Chretien "worked" Clark.

You can't legitimately portray what is occurring to some new fangled neo-conservative Machiavellian idea that has recently come from the cynical depths of American republicanism.

It didn't. It came from the Liberal Party of Canada.


Cliff said...

Well speaking as a Dipper we so appreciate all the more in sorrow then anger helpful tactical advice from Libs and Cons, who of course, only have our best interests at heart...

I know it baffles and confuses Libs when the NDP does anything other than the Lib imperative of putting the good of the Liberal Party before anything else. It didn't take us long to get to the empty threat of a Con majority, the favorite boogeyman of Libs afraid that any voter with a social conscience is starting to look at them askance.

Accept it folks, you belong to a center right party that only goes even marginally to the left when forced to by the NDP. A majority Lib government would honor 'progressive' politics only if they were facing a loss in an impeding election and then would follow their familiar pattern of grand promises with no action backing them up.

Twelve years between promise and desperate last ditch childcare plan anyone?

Gayle said...

cliff - I will agree that idealy we would have a minority liberal government, with both the NDP and the conservatives holding the balance.

To some of us the threat posed by Harper is very real, and we would jump at the chance for a liberal majority if it meant ridding us of Harper. And you are correct, we cannot understand why the NDP would do anything that would risk a Harper majority. It simply makes no sense.

I am not happy about the NDP being squeezed out, and I certainly hope that does not happen, but if it does you can place the blame squarely on Layton.

I do not blame Harper at all for his tactics, but I most certainly do blame Layton. He has been politically opportunistic ever since December 2005. I fear he miscalculated.

Cliff said...

You miss my point. There is virtually no difference between a Lib or Con majority except rhetoric.

Besides the Con majority scare tactic is just that - an empty threat. It's not going to happen. If they were going to be in a majority position in the polls at all, they would be by now. They've had a disciplined media message, a rational centrist budget - really it was indistinguishable from a Martinite budget aside from it's shameful inaction on First Nations. That and Harper kept his craziest caucus members bound and ball-gagged in his basemet.

They've had every break, a friendly media environment, an official opposition on auto-pilot, low expectations and few disasters aside from the slow motion meat-grinder of Afghanistan - a gift from the Libs, thank you very much - and they're still where they were in the polls during the last election.

If they were going to have moved up in any kind of sustained way, they would have by now.

They can call an election next week or next year, the best they can hope for is holding onto their current minority and even that is an open question.

So no, I feel no overwhelming need to vote for the lesser of two evils to keep Voldemort from getting a majority.

Karen said...

Geesh Gayle, I went on for paragraghs to say how and you summed it up with, I fear he miscalculated.

Well done.

Tomm:You can't legitimately portray what is occurring to some new fangled neo-conservative Machiavellian idea that has recently come from the cynical depths of American republicanism

The way you portray it no. But that is not what is happening. This is not old school politics and you know it. It's down and dirty, it's twisting every conceivable point to be something else. It flies in face of intelligence, yet people are buying.

I don't know how old you are, but you don't sound like a kid. Politics is politics, is politics. Always has been, always will be I imagine, (though I'd like to think otherwise).

You know and I know, there is a difference between wrong footing the opposition and out and out lying. This latest by Baird, suggesting that the Liberal bill means spending $195. per tonne. No, Dion has costed it at $20. and that's redeemable if you comply.

They are lying, plain and simple and that to me has brought politics to a horrible level.

Look at all of us, different view points but splitting the country. How is that helpful?

We've gone beyond healthy debate, (though I don't say that about you Tomm and some others), the country is starting to split and I do not see that as a benefit to anyone.

Tomm said...


I was feeling it there for a second. You are right, I am under-playing some of the rhetoric.

However, Baird isn't lying. Not even close. Read Coyne's Saturday editorial.

If Canada needs to buy 300 million tonnes of carbon by 2012. Just to "pretend" that our belching equals our fat wallet, where are we buying it from?

From Dion's little carbon party? At $20/tonne I ignore his little party. $20/tonne is strictly a cost of my doing business. So. Dion gets his carbon tax of $20/tonne and pockets the money. Now what?

Canada is still 330 million tonnes away from Dion's mouth. So, Dion goes on the open market looking for certified carbon. Where can he go to buy Kyoto certified carbon. He can go to Russia. He can also go to a few other eastern block options.

Right now, this little club only has 65 million tonnes for sale. If Dion wants 300 and there is only 60 to buy, worldwide, I wonder where the price is going to go?

Up. and up. and up. By 2012, $195/tonne will be the price we WISHED we had.


Anonymous said...

I agree with gayle The worst of the worsts is Layton he sold out the decency of the old NDP playing his very personal ego trips....and made Harper as PM.
compare to himm Harper is doing what he was set to do But Layton is doing everything against the NDP original standings and goals..Shame on him..

I wonder when the NDP members will say enough of this BS and kick him from behind ,,.

marta from Vancouver

Steve V said...

"The CPC is not the US Respublican party, and it is not a "fan" of George Bush.

To say so, would be the equivalent of my saying that Dion is Chavez-like, and the Grits remind me of PETA."

The Liberals aren't the Democrats, but the analogy is relevant to Cliffs tired "Liberal, Tory, same old story" rhetoric.

The Dion is Chavez is just ridiculous, but the Harper is Bush is a fair comparison. Why was the hard-right so excited about a Harper victory just prior to the election? If the CPC is "not a fan" of the Bush administration, why does Bush call him Steve? If the CPC is not the Republican Party, then why do they seek the advice of Luntz, why do they use the Republican playbook when it comes to strategy, why do people refer to Harper as Bush's "ideological twin"? If there is a difference now, it is merely political predicament, which a majority would quickly relieve.

Dion to Chavez is ridiculous, Bush to Harper a fair comparison.

Steve V said...

"There is virtually no difference between a Lib or Con majority except rhetoric."

Let's just hope we don't see the Con majority, it's not worth me saying "I told you so".

Karen said...

Hmmm, Tomm if your numbers are right, we need to talk. I find it doubtful though. That every enviro person see's his plan, (Dion's) as viable forces me to doubt your claim.

I'll admit, I do not know those numbers. So, pleae provide fact, not spin, and I'll consider my view.

As it stands, I cannot believe that Dion would compromise his credibility as you suggest. If what you say is true, Dion would have been outed long ago, by Harper no less.

I'm not buying it Tomm.

Gayle said...

"You miss my point. There is virtually no difference between a Lib or Con majority except rhetoric."

Oh, I get your point, but I disagree. It does not help your argument when you make statements like that.

Do you not think the question of fiscal imbalance is a clear difference between the two parties?

You concentrate on taxation and fiscal policy, and you ignore fundamental issues such as the constitutional framework of our country - or are you unaware of Harper's desire for decentralization?

How about that "tough on crime" policy - the one your party is reportedly going to support, notwithstanding the fact that it will greatly increase our jail population - a population that is primarily made up of people from disadvantaged classes and where Aboriginals are disproportionately represented (a fact the conservatives have conceded in the legislative summary to the bill).

You are correct in that Harper has not cracked that majority ceiling, but to me, and others like me, Layton is helping him make his case.

Personally, I believe Layton wants to destroy the liberal party, and if it takes a conservative majority to get that he is willing to pay that price.

Tomm said...


Follow the bread crumbs.

Ask the cost of certified carbon on the world market. Ask if it is "reserved" for EU or other preferred members. Ask the total available now and into the future. Ask about international demand. As if these carbon brokers (i.e.Shysters) deserve 10% of our billion dollars?

But frankly, this isn't the real point. Although Baird is right, the real cost is in the outrageousness of it. How does our using taxpayer money to buy a credit INSTEAD of decreasing our use, save the planet? That is the outrage.

We need to keep our economy healthy so we can be part of the solution when it comes. If we turn ourselves into an LDC in the meantime, nobody is going to come over and pick us up.


Greg Fingas said...

knb: Baird's effort is apparently to pretend that his party is anything other than completely isolated when it comes to the environment - resulting in his now trying to define the NDP's position by pretending that the split is Cons/NDP against Libs/Bloc, rather than Cons against NDP/Libs/Bloc/Greens.

It's certainly fair to point out that Baird is wrong in doing so. But it's ludicrous to claim that the NDP can somehow be faulted for the Cons' perceiving an advantage in misrepresenting the NDP's position. And the only result of accepting the Cons' spin is to play right into their hands, by allowing them to distract from their own failures.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, but it seems pretty obvious to me. The electorate wants the parties in the House to "play nice" with each other. In order to fulfil that expectation, the Government has to been seen as trying to work with someone. Though, in reality, they are getting help from ALL of the opposition parties, they can't be seen as being cooperative with their main rivals or the separatists, so when they feel it necessary to dole out compliments, then the only choice is the NDP. I would imagine that this may help their fortunes during an election as well. If they continue to present the NDP as a left-centrist party in the media and to the electorate, then that should contribute to the vote-splitting between the Libs and the NDP. Mind you, it also makes sense for the Libs to strongly suggest that the NDP and the Tories are working closely together, because that helps to frame the NDP as traitors to the mythical "progressive" cause that both the Libs and the NDP lay claim to, and should help to win over/scare NDP votes into the Lib electoral column. Anyways, so the Tories are influencing the public perception of the NDP for their own benefit and the Liberals are influencing the public perception of the NDP for their own benefit. I suppose what the NDP should at least try to do and are, to a degree, is to frame the Liberals and the Tories within the same lens. Not so much a "Liberals Tories, same old story" thing, but more like, "bad record for one and bad policy for the other". Anyways, If we're going to have an election, then we need to have stronger third and fourth parties so we can ensure a minority government. It seems to be the only way we can avoid social Conservative ideology on one hand or Liberal backhanders and corruption on the other.

Scotian said...

"Lets all ignore that the only party to vote against the government on every single confidence vote is the NDP" Cliff 2:57 PM, April 22, 2007

Too bad that is not factually accurate, like so many other NDP talking points as of late. Last spring the NDP, along with the Libs and BQ voted to pass the CPC budget on third reading. Therefore either you are misinformed, ignorant, or a liar.

NDPers, too funny.

BTW, you are quite wrong when you claim that the CPC and CLP are the same and use the same rhetoric, just as you were wrong with your above claim. If you were talking about the PCPC and CLP I would agree, but the Harper CPC is quite another story. Would you have said Reform and the CLP are the same? If so then you have shown such an inability to make distinctions on a macro scale that your political observations are worthless, and if you do not think they are the same then why do you think Reform in CPC clothes and the CLP are?

Sorry Cliff, you and your fellow NDP partisans are being led down the garden path, and while your base will continue to vote for you, what you are losing thanks to the Layton/Harper de facto alliance to kill the Libs are the swing voters that traditionally bounced between NDP, Liberal, and PCPC. THAT is where you are going to be hurt by this strategy. Many of these voters remember all the good things like national dare care destroyed by the timing of the last election especially when a few months would have made a real difference on this and Kelowna, as they would have been enacted and funded making cutting it far harder for Harper. It is you and your fellow ideologues that do not understand that the bulk of this country's voters are *NOT* drawn to ideological thinking/actions be they from the far right or left, which was why Reform/CA and the NDP have never formed a national government and why it took the stealth approach of Harper last election to get even this weak a minority. Which I might add was when they had the perect storm against the Liberals working to the CPC's favour, they should have gotten a majority and if they truly were the old PCPC they almost certainly would have, which again underscores my point.

So it is clear that you are as bad a Kool-Aid drinker on the left as those on the right like Canada's Lowest Common Denominatrix (SDA) and other hard core ideological conservative blogs or just a flat out liar. Either way though the threat Harper poses is far greater than that of any prior PM or potential PM I have ever seen in my lifetime. This is *NOT* the PCPC, and Layton should be smart enough a political operator to see that. Yet he has worked closely with the CPC from just before the last election throughout most of last year on a mutual agenda of squeezing the Liberals out of contention, which helps Harper by making the potential of winning a larger minority to majority via up the middle vote splits. Harper needs this because he does not have enough support in the voting public to manage majority any other way. Which is why Harper is so careful to build up the NDP while trashing the Liberals like he has been as Steve V noted.


This is going to get worse before it gets better. It is clear that the NDP online partisans have been dispatched to try and smear anyone that disagrees with them as Liberals, as NDP haters, indeed as anything other than accept the possibility that we are right and they and Layton are wrong. Indeed, thanks to the actions of Layton and Harper being as blatantly obvious to all except the partisans it is entirely possible there will be enough of a shift in the swing vote to the Libs to stop Harper that it will create their next majority. For all the Libs fault they have been the government most of this country's history and 3/4ths of the last 4 decades, and this country is a wonderful one that has developed and grown strong under them, including even the social justice aspect, unless of course the Charter is to be considered a less than progressive document as one example. They are also the least ideologically rooted/driven party of the major federal parties, and after the hyperpartisanship of the Harper government I suspect there will be great fatigue from it and a desire for a few years of peace, which may well end up with that Lib majority.

Which would be fine by me, as it would also have as a byproduct the removal of Harper and his cronies from the leadership of the CPC, and hopefully a saner, more PCPC in truth as opposed to fiction as currently is the case will emerge. I want the Straussians removed from power, and that is not the Libs, it is the Harper CPC. The Calgary School of political thought has a long record of what they would do to this country if given the power, and I know that most of those aims are to destroy the works the Libs with some input from the NDP over the last several decades have put into place.

That Layton and his fellow supporting NDPers cannot see this coming will likely reduce them to the weak party they were after the 1993 election. Instead of considering that many non-aligned voters have said the same thing should tip them off that maybe there is something to it it is easier to dismiss and denigrate those voices than it is to actually consider seriously whether they might be right. Not to mention considering the possibility that those voices are true swing voters voicing their honest opinions instead of simply labeling them as Liberal propagandists/operatives or dupes of same, which is really insulting the intelligence of every person so treated I might add, not the best way to curry their votes. This is the same kind of "it's everyone else's fault we are misunderstood and not our own, nor that our message is not popular" reasoning/theme that we have seen from Reform/CA and not the CPC and it really looks ugly on the NDP.

I don't want to see the NDP die, but if that is what it takes to stop Harper and his Calgary School cold then so be it. If/when that happens these NDP partisans will have no one to blame but Layton and themselves for so blindly following him.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gayle

Sorry to stick my nose in, but in one of your previous posts you commented:

"You concentrate on taxation and fiscal policy, and you ignore fundamental issues such as the constitutional framework of our country - or are you unaware of Harper's desire for decentralization?"

Sorry to disagree, but the effective decentralisation of Canada started long before the Harper CPC was put into government and has been overseen by both the Grits and the Tories. The main difference between what Harper proposes and what has gone on before is speed and forthrightness. Whereas the decentralisation of power has been, in the past, framed within the policy/debate of defecit reduction, economic competitiveness, "asymmetrical federalism" and deep integration/prosperity partnership, now it is out there on its own. Either way I think decentralisation/devolution is a mistake for Canada, but I actually prefer Harper's approach to the subject, because at least his rhetoric gets people thinking and talking openly about the subject. Previous Governments have been quite sneaky really and have been proceeding along the path to decentralisation without ever really saying "Hey Canada! We're fundamentally changing how the three levels of government are going to relate to one another and to you. Is that okay?". Of course, Harper doesn't ask us if it is okay, but at least he raises his voice and makes the announcement.

lance said...

To steal a line from the Jurist;

Shorter Scotian, The NDP kicked out the Libs and I'll never forgive you. You're partisan hacks and ideological idiots . . . but I'm not. Harper and his ilk represent the very worst of the world and we're all gonna die . . . oh, and it's all the NDP's fault.


Scotian said...

Shorter lance:

I don't know what I am talking about.


I am not a partisan, as I am not blindly supportive of any party in this country and never have been. However, I have been opposed to Reform/CA and this variant of the CPC under Harper. I take great issue with its underlying ideological underpinnings and in particular Harper himself and have for nearly 20 years now. You can think I am wrong about him and an alarmist all you want, that is a fair criticism of me to make, but I am NOBODY'S partisan. If we were talking about the PCPC instead of the CPC in this position I would not have objected to Layton making this move on the Libs, but the CPC is NOT the PCPC, and don't try telling me otherwise I know better. Timing is everything, and the timing here is wrong because of the risks for all progressives in this country, and if Layton pisses them off they will abandon the NDP and it will diminish because of it. Whether it dies or not is another matter, but it will be reduced to near fringe status, and may not even be able to hang onto party status in Parliament within a couple of elections, especially after a Harper majority.

The problem with the Layton NDP is that he has transformed it into a party of seats first instead of principled positions first, and done so without actually formally consulting his party to do so with. He still acts like his is the only party with moral integrity/authority despite his clearly partisanly motivated actions in conjunction with Harper since the fall of 2005. Now while many NDPers may think this is the best thing to do, many of we swing progressive voters find Harper to be something we do not want at all, a true representative of movement conservatism, the same that has all but destroyed the GOP.

This is supposedly the form of conservativism the NDP have been fighting most intensely against throughout its history, yet Layton essentially spreads his legs for Harper because both of them are more concerned with the Libs instead, which seriously increases the chance of a Harper CPC majority government, something I think even most principled NDPers would agree is something not desired and clearly worse for their agendas/principles than what they got from the Libs with all their faults. You can call that many things lance, but it is not partisan.

So please lance, next time you try to mock me, at least mock accurately what is there instead of creating your own fictions please. I don't mind being held to critical account, but it must be on what I actually say instead of what you think it really means, it is called being intellectually honest, perhaps you have heard of it?