Thursday, October 11, 2007

"The Ball"

Harper has rejected a meeting with Dion. What is missing in this story, the fact that Harper has already met with Layton and Duceppe. That fact undercuts this pitiful excuse:
But he said he is willing to work on compromises with the Conservative government – a notion Mr. Harper dismissed Wednesday.

“I had not heard from Mr. Dion except through the media. Mr. Dion made his intentions very clear. He made his non-negotiable demands, and, as I just said, the government will consider all the opposition positions and we will respond in the Speech from the Throne,” he told reporters.

Layton spoke of his meeting with Harper just last week, despite the fact the NDP has made its "conditions" known for weeks prior. Harper already understood Layton and Duceppe's position, so what was the point of meeting, if the logic with regards to Dion follows?

What is really happening here, which the media somehow fails to mention, Harper doesn't want to make Parliament work and his snub of Dion is a transparent example. Why doesn't someone ask the simple question- if you can meet with the other two opposition party leaders, why is that you can't meet with the leader of the official opposition, especially when you admit that the Liberals will decide whether the government continues?:
Mr. Harper said that with Conservative MPs supporting the Throne Speech, “it appears to me that members of the Bloc and the NDP will likely be voting for an election.

“So really the ball's in Mr. Dion's court at this point.”

If you don't want an election, as Harper contends, then you take the elementary step of speaking with the party that has "the ball", don't you? What a transparent joke really.


ottlib said...

steve asked:

"Why doesn't someone ask the simple question- if you can meet with the other two opposition party leaders, why is that you can't meet with the leader of the official opposition,..."

Elementary really, the media wants an election. It will provide them with 5 or 6 weeks of content and allow them to speculate and spin to their hearts content.

So they are not going to ask questions that may stop such from happening.

susansmith said...

Remind me, but didn't Martin also stonewall when he was prime minister and in a minority too?
I am serious here. I think I remember before the first throne speech, Layton trying to get a meeting with Martin and Martin not giving him the time of day.
You see, all this tit for tat is so unprogressive, and well as mom use to say, one never knows when the shoe is going to be on the other foot, and thus one should never burn all your bridges.

Steve V said...

"I think I remember before the first throne speech, Layton trying to get a meeting with Martin and Martin not giving him the time of day."

I guess you also remember when Layton took a look at the polls and decided to bring down the government to exploit the perceived fertile ground. Jan, there is no higher ground, which you like to claim, unless not governing allows for idealism, based on hypotheticals.

ottlib said...

Yes, the NDP under Jack Layton abandoned the high ground a long time ago.

Jan, for most of my political life I have considered the NDP as an alternative if neither the Liberals or the Conservatives appealed to me at any given time. (It has happened)

Mr. Layton has changed that. I will never consider voting for the NDP again. My new alternative is the Greens and I know many others like me who feel the same way.

Steve V said...

Jack is as much a political animal, if not more, than the other leaders. To suggest otherwise is based on the lack of practical application, which is convenient when claiming another standard.

Scotian said...


As Ottlib and Steve V have pointed out Layton turned the NDP from being a principles first party into a seat winning first party, something it never had been before. I have watched him do so for well over two full years now, and one of the things that most disturbs me about the NDP apparatus/machine is how this was done without any formal consultation within the NDP and has since been largely accepted by folks like you as well as the national infrastructure. By placing the Libs as the greater threat than the Harper CPC Layton has shown the NDP to be less concerned with their principles because it is blatantly obvious which party and leader represent the greater threat to those principles and goals and it is the Harper CPC. I have often wondered how many of that core NDP voting base have watched the past two years with horror and decided that they cannot support the NDP again under Layton until he clearly shows he sees the Harper CPC as the true threat instead of his clear preference for beating down the Libs first (even though they aren't the government, it was one thing to be so focused on them when they were the government, but to do so when they are not is something else again).

The NDP has had a very stable long term voting base because it consistently supported its principles over all else, even when it might hurt them in gaining seats. This was recognized by the voters as well as the soft swing voters that tended to prefer the Libs or PCPC but when unhappy with one or both would vote NDP as a safe alternative or at least a principled one. That is what Layton has gambled with and potentially destroyed for the NDP, and the fact that so many NDP partisans are unwilling to not only see that but even consider the possibility of this while claiming to be the only party of principles only underscores that just as the CPC is not your parents Conservatives the Layton NDP are not your parents NDP. Time and again you have dismissed this perspective as partisan posturing, I wonder though what you might say if the NDP vote collapses in the next election and moves to the Libs because the NDP voters are more disturbed by the idea/reality of a Harper/CPC government than a Lib government.

Understand something, I voted against my NDP MP last time out despite liking her enormously, respecting her both personally (I have known her since my early teens, a good quarter century now) and professionally and voted for her every time she was running in the riding I lived in both on the Provincial and federal levels. I did this because of how horrified and disgusted I was with Layton being willing to hand the Harper CPC a possible majority by pasting only the Libs in the last election cycle and mostly ignoring the CPC or worse, arguing that the CPC was not extremist in views and that "Liberal Tory same old story" was still true/accurate. That last really offended me given that the idea of the Libs and CPC being the same made as much sense as arguing that the Libs and Reform were the same, that argument worked when the PCPC and Libs were contesting, but the idea that the CPC and the Libs are anything near similar to identical is farcical at best and spoke volumes for Layton's bad political judgment if he did not see the CPC threat or worse saw it but was more concerned with beating Libs and getting their seats and even maybe replacing them as the option of the left for government than opposing the greatest threat to the much vaunted NDP principles that he and you and so many other NDP partisans bleat about being the defenders of and the only true defenders of at that.

Your party and its leader have made this bed, and you might find in the next election it is not a comfortable place at all. We shall see.

ottlib said...

Good analysis Scotian and what you say is the reason why I believe the Green Party is on a path to usurp the NDP of its traditional role of being the conscience of Parliament and the Third Party.

The Greens are inching ever closer to the NDP in the polls, they have a very good leader and they are strongest in areas that have traditionally been NDP strongpoints, such as the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

There will probably be a large number of people who voted for the NDP the last time who will not do so this time. Many will vote Liberal but those who could never see themselves doing that will go Green.