Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Your own MP calls it "paltry". Your union base calls the reforms "scraps" and "discriminatory". Even worse, the meager wasn't even extracted as concession, it's a unilateral move by the government to make an issue disappear. A quick review of NDP EI demands, quotes, over the past few months, you'll see no mention of this reform as a priority- this was never about concessions for the government, it was about leaving a peanut for a squirrel faced with a long winter.

All this hollow partisan blather about the Liberals getting nothing in return for supporting the government (even though every fair minded observer in the country recognized the decidedly LIBERAL flavor of the budget), and now the NDP is reduced to making a molehill look like a mountain to save face. There is no other word for it than capitulation. This isn't a "deal", it's pure panic and after the fact spin.

Tomorrow, in Parliament, NDP members will rise and place CONFIDENCE in this government, erasing their ivory tower disposition. They will do by endorsing measures they rejected in the budget. They will do so, as a prelude to effectively abandoning their own EI bill that they've pointed to for months as the FIRM template for any agreement. They will enable Harper to take EI off the table for the near future, for longer than his TEMPORARY measures last. They've sold out in the name of political expediency, they've put their own self interest above their principles, they've become what they've vilified, they've betrayed their own sanctimony, they've become the LIBERALS. The horror!

BLACK FRIDAY. Welcome to the practical world, where adults must roam.


Unknown said...

but this was not about reforms...or anything. The NDP were looking for ANY excuse whatsoever to support the government. Maybe it was partly because they wanted to seem as if they were working to make parliament work because Canadians would prefer not to go through an election. Maybe it is because their coffers are low and the polls are showing that they are going to lose seats.
Whatever the reason, the flip-flopping NDP leader made some pretty poor calls. I could see the knives coming out soon....obviously he is the wrong person for this job.

Blogging Horse said...

After 11 months of supporting Harper IggyLibs got a meeting with Pierre Pollievre.

Jack Layton got $1 billion for the unemployed.

Liberals wanted to go to an election? That's not what this guy said ...

“We’re not having an election on EI … I don’t hear Canadians clamouring for an election on this issue.” – Senator and Ignatieff campaign chair David Smith, Toronto Star, 28 August 2009

Mark Richard Francis said...

Blogging Horse, this had nothing to do with the talents of any political party over another. Harper would never want to give the Liberals credit for anything.

Layton didn't negotiate anything here. It's been handed to him ,and he's taking it without even being able to do anything to actually improve it.

The NDP is way behind their fundraising goals. They are having trouble in the polls, and Iggy just leveraged them right out of their coveted ,moral opposition role as anti-Harper. Rumour is, they also lost their ad agency in Quebec.

No, the NDP are limping, badly, and would do almost anything right now to avoid an election.

Makes sense. Can't say I blame them. The Liberals were in that position for a long time. That likely explains most of those 79 confidence votes, doesn't it?

I just wish Iggy had a real vision I could support.

Steve V said...

I'm embarrassed for you. Just get off the horse, it's sad. Shhhh.

Scott in Montreal said...

This is indeed a curious full-court capitulation for the NDP. I am truly stupefied - they can easily take the high road and vote against the Ways and Means this Friday safe in the knowledge the Bloq has their backs for that vote to keep them in session - and probably on through October. My take is: the Bloq doesn't want to tie up the separatist campaign resources until after the Montreal municipal election is out of the way. Few separatists have more cred than mayoralty candidate Louise Harel, who is in a two-way race with the Liberal-tied incumbent Gerald Tremblay. For Harel to win, she needs to bring out the vote (Nov. 1), and that gets compromised greatly if a federal election campaign starts up that sucks all the air out of her balloon (plus volunteers, and media attention, etc.)

Steve V said...

Just for fun, go to google and type in "prop up".

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is they are so desperately trying to spin this as if they "got things done," like there was some amazing 11th hour negotiations that led to their epiphany to let this one slip by.

The reality is, as you have pointed out, Harper just said this is what we're doing . . . and not one bit more. Jack just jumped in his lap and said, "Oh goodie."

NDP . . . getting things done.

Yeah, hard not to gag on that one.

DL said...

...and outside of our little "bubble" of political junkies - no one cares about any of this.

I'm still not convinced that we won't see Harper pull some kind of a fast one that provokes the NDP into voting them down - either when the Liberals move non-confidence in early October - or after that by bringing in a bill that is clearly unacceptable to all the opposition parties and declaring it to be a confidence vote.

A good rule of thumb is that any party leader who claims NOT to want an election, actually wants one very badly and anyone who is saying "bring it on" is actually scared shitless of having one.

Unknown said...

I doubt Harper wants an least right away. He is fundraising and the polling trends show him increasing his leads in key battleground of Ontario. With the NDP lagging in the polls he may even pick up seats in BC and in the prairies as well.
He wants a clear majority, and he probably feels that he can wait longer for it to happen. He also wants to make sure that the Liberal party will be to blame for the election being called...interrupting his economic vision.

Anonymous said...

Anything that turns the media onto a "Harper poisons bill to provoke election" could burn him very badly, especially after all his rhetoric about an unnecessary election . . . this year, not last year's, of course ;).

Nah, I think the NDP can only wear this one for so long before they'll be forced to make a decision. They may be trying to buy themselves some time right now, but it can only last for so long. Harper certainly isn't going to be tossing them any bones.

DL said...

If I were Harper I would be dying to have an election right now. Why wait? The longer you stay in power the more time you have to do things that piss people off. While the Liberals might have a bit of a "dead cat bounce" in an election right now just because Ignatieff is not Dion, its pretty clear that the Liberals are only just starting to turn the corner. They would love to have another six months to raise money and to decide what Ignatieff actually stands for. I think Harper probably feels that in an election right now he can capitalize on Ignatieff's inexperience - just like what Chretien did to Stockwell Day in 2000. Why give the Liberals more time to regroup and give all the opposition parties more time to raise money?

Anonymous said...

If that were the case, Harper would have let the curtain fall in June.

I, for one, would love Harper to poison the well and get his election. Best thing that could happen for the Liberals right now would be to have the election they stated they were ready for, yet having Harper be the one provoking it. And, as a bonus, having the Block and NDP look foolish for choosing to "trust" just in time to get hosed.

If anything, I expect Harper to do a few mildly progressive things - as little as humanly possible but enough to finish up those pesky budget things they couldn't be bothered with all year - then prorogue Parliament again until after the New Year.

DL said...

In June, Harper was all set to have an election. He called Ignatieff's bluff and Ignatieff capitulated. I think all things being equal, the Tories wanted to have the summer to revamp their image and to run tons of ads destroying Ignatieff - and they did.

Now they are ready and the Liberals are freaked at having an election now when they know they have no issue, they need more time to raise money and Ignatieff is not ready for primetime.

Cliff said...

Please Libs, just keep sneering at the idea of immediately helping 60,000 mostly older workers keep the wolf from the door being less important than arrogant Liberal entitlement to power.

rockfish said...

No one's snearing, Claven. These EI proposals were already part of the picture -- however both the Liberals and NdP appeared to be fighting for something more. While the Grits got burned for trusting the lying narcissist, Layton is now having to carry Harper's water and act like its champagne.
Yes, its a good thing however it falls way way way short of what the NdP said was needed. That just a few months ago they were cackling at the Liberals' efforts is just a frame of their all-bark, no-bite abilities.

Anonymous said...

What's up with you, DL? Seriously. You say half-way sensible things and then you fly off the handle and slide into bizarro-land. Did I step on your toes or something?

The liberals have erased the fund-raising gap. Ignatieff didn't capitulate, and he isn't "destroyed." They announced they are moving a non-confidence vote. And if you think there aren't any "issues" to pursue against Harper, then I guess you support his vision for Canada. I always figured you an NDP backer, so I guess you've taken to your new role well.

If anyone is "freaked" at the recent turn of events, it's Jack. He and Mulclair are tap-dancing so fast they may fall off the stage in a minute.

CanadianSense said...

Steve V,

I don't understand why anyone is shocked with the Bloc or NDP not participating with the Liberal Party's decision to remove confidence.

The Liberals spent a long time raising funds, adding new members and have rehabilitated their image from the October 14, 2008 results.

The NDP and Bloc stand to lose seats directly to the Liberals, why would they participate in mutual self destruction and risk facing a stronger Liberal Party?

The error in Sudbury was giving the responsibility to the smaller parties to keep the government afloat.
Jack and Gilles will not be returning the ball (camera) anytime soon.

The Liberals NEED the camera and the MSM paying attention. The new default position is to reject every CPC motion before it is read. Micheal already pointed out Canadian voters would not respect a party that acted that way.

The NDP are now rehabilitating their image in preparation of a campaign months away by adopting the Doer/Dexter model. Will it work?

The NDP/Bloc will change their position when they are prepared and the polling numbers reflect a favourable outcome.

Do we agree the NDP going now would lead to a leadership convention shortly after?

Steve V said...

"Jack and Gilles will not be returning the ball (camera) anytime soon."

It's not a ball, it's a burning hot coal. Enjoy.


I appreciate the incredibly shallow attempt at spin, but come on, somewhere in your noggin you know you SOLD OUT for virtually NOTHING.