Monday, October 22, 2007

Et tu, Jack?

I flew back to Toronto from Ottawa on Saturday evening, and a few rows ahead of me was none other than Jack Layton, the man himself. Not sign of Olivia though, nor any carry-on. It is a short flight though, guess he just planned to read EnRoute magazine.

Took a picture of the back of his head with my camera phone but it didn’t turn out, sorry. I wish I had this figure then though, I’d have liked his take on it. It’s from the same Ipsos study that had bloggers going googly this weekend:

…two thirds of Canadians do not want an election to be held until at least the spring (68%)…

It appears that Stephane Dion was correct when he declared that Canadians do not want a an election at this time, with just one quarter (22%) of Canadians more closely associating with the sentiment that ‘politics is Ottawa is dysfunctional and we need an election now’. This is compared to the vast majority (68%) of Canadians who more closely believe that ‘spring is the earliest we should have an election due to important work that still needs to be done by the government.’

Luckily for, well, the vast majority of Canadians, the Dion Liberals were listening to them, even if the NDP wasn’t. Jack Layton: loudly and boastfully ignoring the majority of Canadians.

Oh, and speaking of Jack, this was interesting reading today too:
NDP and Bloc Québécois MPs joined with the Conservatives tonight to handily defeat a Liberal amendment to the speech.

Had it passed, the amendment would have amounted to a vote of non-confidence in Mr. Harper's plan for the country and the government would have fallen, triggering an election.

If Jack and Gilles had really wanted an election, they’d have voted in favour of the Liberal amendment today and they’d have triggered one. Doesn’t matter if they agreed with the Liberal motion or not. Here’s all they’d have to say:

“I think this Liberal motion was foolish and I disagree with it, but voting for it was the only way to trigger the election we feel is so desperately needed…our principles….blah blah…”

Instead, they voted with the Conservatives to prop the government up. So, Jack can keep on attacking the Liberals here all they want. And I know he will. But, you know what, at least the Liberals are being honest here about their intentions.

The NDP vote today is proof they don’t want an election either, despite all their supposedly principled prattling-on to the contrary. They’re trying to mislead Canadians, because they had their chance today to get the election they supposedly so badly wanted and they took a pass. Today, the BQ and the NDP propped-up the Conservatives

So, while I know this is an impossible request, I’ll make it anyway. Please, Jack, spare me the false sanctimony and get off your high horse. You’re not fooling anyone.

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northwestern_lad said...

The NDP did not prop up this government. They stood against an amendment that they did not agree with. They stood on principle, just as they did when they opposed the speech itself, unlike the Liberals who said "We are against this, but we won't actually act like it". Mr. Layton has been clear with his opposition to things and hasn't tried to hide behind hair splitting, like Stephane Dion is.

The NDP has never said they wanted an election, but they have said that they do not fear one if it happens to come. There is no lust for an election on their part, and your attempt to paint it as such is such blind partisanship. If you really felt so strongly about that, you should have approached Mr. Layton on that flight and spoke to him. I guarantee you that he would have politely spoken with you and said very much the same, but of course, you don't want that hyper-partisan bent to be able to be disproved.

janfromthebruce said...

Nobody was fooled by the Dion liberals silly amendment tactic. Quote from Globe today: "Leader Stéphane Dion crafted the amendment in such a way that neither the Bloc nor the NDP would support it."

Too bad you choice not to speak to Mr. Layton rather than taking a silly photo of the back of his head. Hopefully for your party, and I know for the most part from other lib bloggers in this forum, that they are more mature than you are, or the lib party's election fortunes are really sunk.

A BCer in Toronto said...

The NDP did not prop up this government.

Oh yes they did. They and the BQ voted with the Cons on a motion that, if defeated, would have led to the fall of the government.

The NDP has never said they wanted an election...

Say what? They wanted the Liberals to join them and the BQ (correction, they say that's what they wanted) which would have led to an election. How can you say they wanted the throne speech defeated, but don't want an election? That makes no sense at all. don't want that hyper-partisan bent to be able to be disproved.

As I said, I didn't have the stats at the time, and besides, I wouldn't want to pester a guy on his way home to his family at the end of the week. That'd be rude. It also would have delayed boarding. And hyper-partisan? Please, I've read your blog too. Glass houses.

Jan,you've been posting that comment everywhere this morning and I don't think anyone is fooled. It doesn't matter what the motion said, or how super-craftily it was written. If the NDP and BQ really wanted an election, thus was their trigger to get it. They passed.

You want to talk about immature? That's the NDP policy on this issue and their constant attacks on the Liberals. I'm not surprised NDP supporters are rushing to attack this post, but I'm going to keep on pointing out Layton's hypocrisy where I see it. Judging by the NDP Web site and blogsphere it's plain to see they can dish it out, I just wonder if they can take it.

Leny Vilekoskytch said...

"Had it passed, the [Liberal]amendment would have amounted to a vote of non-confidence in Mr. Harper's plan for the country and the government would have fallen, triggering an election."

So to voting against the Liberal amendment, the NDP was listening to the majority of Canadians while the Liberals were (what would be the best way to say this?)loudly and boastfully ignoring the majority of Canadians.

Jay said...

Anyone else read that article a few weeks back that talked about who exactly has propped up the conservative government? They did counts based on confidenace motions, money bills etc., anytime they could have been brought down.

Guess which two parties have been propping up the Cons? The BQ and NDP, respectively have been voting to keep this government alive and indeed they also gave life to this government in the first place. The liberals even after this throne speech still would not have propped this government up as much as Gilles and Jack have.

Those are the facts. Whine all you want it won't fix it.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Maybe Dion's they only one who really wants an election. From what I hear-tell, it was the grit caucus that put the kibosh on defeatin' the TS.

There've been quite a few provincial elections this year an', other than political junkie wonks (all boogers an' commenters), Canajuns really don't want an election.

At this point, I wouldn't be too surprised to see a new LPC leader by the time we do have an election. Dion keeps disappointin'. Now, he thinks some cockamamie IRV electoral reform is the sorta thing that'll resonate with voters. Is he nuts? Fer non-wonks, ER is a non-issue.

If the grits an' dippers are smart, they'll hold off on an election and give Harper enough rope to hang himself on transparency and accountability. He's doin' a bang-up job of discreditin' hisself an' the hypocrisy of all his accountability campaignin' is bubblin' to the surface.

I think it would help if the dips remember which party is in power. If they wanna be the opposition, they better oppose Harper. Dion's doin' his own self enough damage without help from the NDP.

The votin' public don't wanna hear about electorl reform but they DO wanna hear about gummint abuse of power and hypocrisy. They eat that stuff up. It's easy to communicate an' don't have all them borin' numbers an' percentages like MMP an' PR an' IRV.

Voters oughta be outraged at Harper's hypocrisy wrt transparency and accountability. If the opposition gets on that horse, the voters'll listen. There's nuthin' jucier than exposin' a holier-than-thou hypocrit.


burlivespipe said...

Principle? I can't make out whether Jack wanted an election or not, he's been floundering both ways like a fish out of water.
But I guess we can summarize a few other things when it comes to the NdP -- when they had the chance to give Canada a universal daycare/childcare policy, strong action on First Nations poverty, and action on global warming, they sided with Harper.
Waltz around it all you can, but it appears their principle is blinded by lusting after a higher seeding in the House of Commons, not necessarily what's good for Canada today.

RuralSandi said...

Easy to posture when you have nothing to lose - Layton is pathetic.

He thinks about the people - uh, huh. So, he wants an election on principle...hmmmm - spend another $250 to $300 million of "taxpayer" dollars in case he could get a few more seats - brilliant. Oh, and if Harper gets his beloved majority - Say Anything Jack wouldn't have a say about anything - Jack. Dumb as the come this guy - for a few seats perhaps? Brilliant - on our money - uh, huh.

Red Tory said...

Ah, yes... you can always rely on Jan and NW Lad for entirely objective opinions vis-à-vis the NDP. *snort*

"Principles" my ass!

Abdul-Rahim said...

Grandstaning asshole...

Leny Vilekoskytch said...

Voting for the amendment was the only way to trigger an election?

Yes, with the small exception of having the know...oppose the government.

Jason Hickman said...

It appears that Stephane Dion was correct when he declared that Canadians do not want a an election at this time, with just one quarter (22%) of Canadians more closely associating with the sentiment that ‘politics is Ottawa is dysfunctional and we need an election now’.

You might want to make sure Garth gets the message about that. I *knew* you guys would enjoy having him on the team. Lucky thing CityTV's the only one to run with this story.

Fact is, if the positions of the Libs and Tories were reversed with respect to one or more of polling #'s, fundraising/money in the bank, in-fighting, etc, I'd be damn surprised if we'd be hearing the "Canadians don't want an election now" routine from the Liberals, regardless of what was in the Speech from the Throne.

burlivespipe said...

The other reality that these nDpers never have to consider is that, when it comes to options for government, Liberals have to weigh their ability to compete against the CONs when they make a move. It isn't perhaps the smartest or prudent to throw caution to the wind, when you value things like the environment, social services and a clear, independent international voice if nearly every sign points to defeat.
But when your whole program and platform doesn't have to consider who is the gov't -- you bitch and moan no matter who's in power and love it -- i guess an election is good anytime.
So when it comes to looking out for Canadians, the NdP have a different, defeatist approach.
It works for them. But does it work for Canadians? Who share their some of their policy goals?

bza said...

The circular logic here is pretty funny. The Liberals abstained from bringing down the government thus preventing an election. And the Liberals can say that the NDP is 'propping up the government' by voting against the amendment. So basically, the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc are all theoretically propping up the government!

Although, you have to admit, that the throne speech was a bit more important than the amendment written in a way no other party could really support. When it comes down to it, it was the Liberals that propped up the government. You can argue that Canadians don't want an election, but in the end it was the Liberals doing up the propping.

Jay said...

Thats funny, I seem to rememebr the NDP and Cons doing the same thing. Dion even read the speech the NDP and Cons used to justify why they abstained. So was it principles when you did it?

Scotian said...

Good post Jeff, and your point is bang on. For all the talk from Layton about how this government can not be supported it has been the BQ and NDP that has propped up this CPC government the most and not the Libs and the Lib amendment that they voted against would have triggered the election they apparently wanted when they claimed Dion was unwilling and unprincipled when they wanted him to vote against the main speech from the Throne as they said they would even before it was read. Got to love the eat your cake and have it approach of the Layton NDP.

I remember the NDP as a principled party prior to Layton. What really amazes and disgusts me are those that claim the NDP is the only party that operates based on principles first and then supports a leader like Layton whose actions show his primary concern is beating Liberals for seats first even if it brings to power a government/party far more hostile and threatening to NDP principles and values than the Libs. Incidentally, I would just love for NDP supporters to explain how if the Libs are so bad and anti-progressive how Canada is as progressive a nation in values and institutions as it is, they claim the Libs are inherently against social justice and values unlike the NDP yet it was the Libs that gave us our Charter, it was the Libs that have governed most of the past 4 decades, and indeed most of the history of Canada. Again, what am I to do, believe what Layton and NDPers tell me or my lying eyes? I'll go with my lying eyes since they are clearly more honest a representation than what comes out of Layton's mouth.

Greg said...

So, the Liberals write an amendment worded in such a way that the NDP would have the choice of a) telling the world that the Liberal Party collectively walks on water or b) not bringing down the government, knowing that they could still do so if they voted against the main motion. It's not hard to see why they did what they did. The sad thing is even Liberals don't believe their own spin any more.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Do you seriously believe your own spin there Greg? I don't buy this 'Liberals crafted' the amendment in such a way nonsense. That would be very easy for the NDP to get past. For example, they could have ABSTAINED. Then they're not saying they agree with what the Liberals are saying, and would still let the motion pass leading to the election they supposedly want to bring down Harper.

It seems, though, the NDP's principals only count when there is absolutely no risk.