Thursday, October 01, 2009

Jack Layton on abstentions

Today, while the Liberals and the BQ voted non-confidence in the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, the NDP abstained. They stayed in their seats while Canada watched, ensuring we will continue to be governed by Stephen Harper.

The NDP thought long and hard about their strategy (get the flu, vote with the Cons, abstain) and kept it a secret until the last minute, when they revealed their grand plan: abstaining.

Toronto Jack is about to tell the media why abstaining was a strong statement about making parliament work/saving his ass, and I'm sure he'll be very eloquent.

Maybe he'll be as eloquent as he was in October of 2007, when the Liberals abstained on Harper's Throne Speech:

NDP Leader Jack Layton accused the Liberals of being an "absent Opposition" and handing the Tories the gift of being able to operate as if they had a majority government.

"Nothing makes people more cynical about politics than when parties don't do what they say, don't stand up for what they believe," Layton said outside the House.

UPDATE: Much more from the Cowboy.

FURTHER UPDATE: This is funny in hindsight (h/t to buckdog). Chickens roosting, indeed.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


Mark Richard Francis said...

See? Dion was alright.

Don't be hard on Jack. Don't you know its hard to make priorities?

leftdog said...

Our Liberal blogging colleagues are taking directions and stage managing from someone at Liberal Inc. Four prominent Lib bloggers all posted the same quote and posted it within just a very narrow window of time:

The quote:
"Nothing makes people more cynical about politics than when parties don’t do what they say, don’t stand up for what they believe,” Layton

Posted by BC in To at 5:44 (he's the 'keener')
Posted by Calgary Grit at 6:04
Posted by Scott Tribe at 6:23
Posted by Cowboy at 7:18 (he's the foot dragger')

Jeff said...

And leftdog scurries around to all of them, his tail between his legs, trying to comment and try to deflect attention away from the fact his leader has no clothes.

Dammed Liberal bloggers, pointing out Layton's own words. How dare they!

leftdog said...

LOL ... my tail is not between my legs friend! You guys are too funny ... who is giving the directions for your coordinated blogging campaign?

Too funny!

Jeff said...

I could tell you, but then I'd have to have you spayed or neutered. (I'm trying to work with the dog theme.)

Jeff said...

Here's a few from you, leftdog. Just for fun.

"Harper remains defiant and arrogant in the face of questions on the scandal for one simple reason - the Liberals are going to continue to vote/abstain strategically to allow the Conservatives to remain in power.

The Conservative Party of Canada has lost all moral authority to govern us. They were without a majority to begin with and have now descended into typical tory shenanigans. They should be put out of power today. Period....

...As bad as the Conservatives are, the Liberals are equally as bad for not doing the correct thing here and sending Harper packing, hat in hand to try and explain to Canadians why he should be given a new, fresh mandate.

"Stephane Dion has been urging New Democrats to vote Liberal to 'stop Harper'. Yet, more than once this campaign, the Liberal leader has claimed that he would not co-operate with the NDP in the House of Commons to stop Harper.

We shouldn't be surprised. Dion orchestrated his caucus to abstain from far too many votes during the last parliament, that let Harper do whatever he wanted."

CanadianSense said...

Why does this make tactical sense?

Attacking a future coalition partner that you might need to "feel better" makes little sense.

Taking the high road no longer supporting the government on principle sounds wonderful.

Voting 100% against popular measures and not reading them before will have negative results.

It was bad for the NDP at the time and will now reduce the credibility of the liberals.

Liberals need to introduce real alternatives and act like a government in waiting.

Voting against Home Reno and long tenure Bill will cause fallout.

Denis Coderre is NOT done yet, it will be ugly because Iggy has not already booted him out.

CanadianSense said...


by linking and refuting buckdog you make the point for the government.

Both of you have taken turns in support of the government for your own self interest.

The fighting between each other only benefits the governments, don't yout get it?

DL said...

"They stayed in their seats while Canada watched, ensuring we will continue to be governed by Stephen Harper."

...and just imagine if the NDP had voted for the Liberal motion and we we had a snap election. Then boy would we ever continue to be governed by Stephen Harper and with a majority as well. Seriously, do you expect anyone to believe that the Liberals actually wanted their motion to pass today and have an election that they could never win???

leftdog said...

My gawd I write great posts! I am having more fun this last week than I have had in the blogosphere for a long time!

Everything I wrote about in your post is an astute commentary on where we were in our parliamentary history. The debate WAS indeed taken back to people for another vote. Dion led the Liberals to even less seats - the New Democrats won more seats and, unfortunately, we still have Harper as PM.

However, were your current Leader to take the debate back to the people now, we all know that you would win even LESS seats than you have now because the people don't want an election and they will blame you for thrusting one on them.

I will acknowledge now, that after the 3 and 1/2 years that you propped up the Conservatives, there seems to be an explosive burst of bravado from Liberal types ... perhaps I should have more sympathy for the position your Party's hierarchy put you in for endless months, but it is difficult when you operate as if we live in a 2 party state ... NDP VS Liberal.

Austin said...

Hey leftdog...remember this?

Thank goodness we had the NDP watching out for us environmentally conscious canadian families...why look at what they were able to achieve working with the CPC!


How utterly stupid you guys can be.

leftdog said...

Austin, your article is dated Nov 2006? What are you talking about? Since that time, we've had an election and the people gave another minority mandate to Harper? You are blaming New Democrats for that???

Austin said...

Hey leftdog,

Are you saying that "things are different now" than they were then?

Praytell...if so, how?