Unfortunately my PC's TV tuner is no longer able to pull in CPAC. I think it’s my cheap dollar store coaxial cables. I need to get to Radio Shack. But before the cable failed, I was able to get this exchange from last week between the NDP’s Olivia Chow and Liberal leader Stephane Dion.
I thought this was a pretty good comeback by Dion, illustrating the utter ridiculousness of the NDP rhetoric here. It’s been a topic online of late, and even CTV agreed with me here. And, I tell, you, CTV and I don’t often agree on anything. For example, I would never put Seamus O’Regan on TV, particularly in the morning when I'm trying to eat breakfast.
From last weekend’s Question Period (which is slightly more palatable in transcript form):
JANE TABER: Let's get right to our jeer for today. Craig and I decided that NDP leader Jack Layton should be jeered for the fact that he just left the throne speech and said let's bring down the government without even reading the thing.
CRAIG OLIVER: The day the government came to work and the House of Commons met, he said let's defeat them.
TABER: Yeah, after an election campaign. It's totally ridiculous, and I think he's lost a lot of credibility with Canadians as a result of that.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m annoyed with the Liberal strategy here. I’d have liked to have seen us say ‘we’re the official opposition, we’re voting no’ and leave it up to the BQ and/or the NDP to keep the government alive for a change. Because I guarantee neither of them want an election either, and if they had to make the decision, they’d support the government to avoid one. It’s tactics, sure, but perception does count for something and we’ve been losing the perception battle for far too long and ceding ground like this doesn’t help.
That said, someone had to support the government here, and if it wasn’t going to be the Liberals it would have been the BQ or the NDP. So, by virtue of the Liberals’ strategic decision here, the NDP had some leeway to, as it did all last parliament, have its cake and eat it too.
Such is life. But by dialing up the righteous rhetoric to ridiculous levels, as Taber said Jack and Olivia lost a lot of credibility. There was room to enjoy their tactical victory, to as usual play the righteous innocent without consequences, but by going over the line with their indignation it served to expose the hypocrisy of the NDP position to all.
Particularly given that we’re weeks from the last election, and it was the first week of Parliament. Saying this Throne Speech is bad, that it doesn’t deserve support, that’s fair.
But mocking the Liberals for supporting it, and seeming to push them not to? That begins to raise some questions for the NDP.
If you’re not supporting it, and the BQ is not supporting it, and you don’t want the Liberals to support it, wouldn’t that mean an election? Or if the Liberals voted no as you say you'd like, would you change your minds and support it to avoid an election? If no, why do you, Jack and Olivia, think we need to spend $300 million on another election just a few weeks after the last one?
Unless you can provide some reasonable answers for those questions, then ridiculous is the word indeed. Perhaps next confidence vote, Liberal caucus, we should give them a chance to step-up to the plate. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers