Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jack Layton: Standing Up for Canadians by Standing Down

As BCL so wonderfully noted, Jack Layton's most recent comments about how he will "consider" voting for budget by looking at it through the prism of whether or not it will benefit seniors represents little more than another cave-in for the leader of the increasingly pointless New Democratic Party.

Not that saying you'll stand up for seniors isn't noble, but we all know Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty. If they do offer anything, it won't be anywhere near the standards the NDP demands, and given their record on seniors issues already, especially that whole income trusts fiasco, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for anything substantial. But once again, we have Jack there saying he'll keep the Harper government alive if they give him some sort of excuse he can take back to his supporters to say that he actually did something, even though he didn't. September 2009 all over again.

Now, personally I wouldn't really care if Jack did it, because I understand that you can't be in modern politics and stand alone on principles that will get you nowhere fast. I wouldn't care if it weren't for the fact that every single time the Liberals did the exact same thing they've now done and are contemplating doing the second time, they've gloated over us and called as Conservative-lite. It ain't so easy now to claim to be the principled ones when the Liberals aren't going to stop the pressure from building up, is it, Dippers?

See, it's that sanctimonious crap that really grates on our collective nerves on this side of the divide, and is at least half the reason why I want to see the NDP totally wiped out. Being the fourth party with limited opportunities for expansion so long as the Liberals and Conservatives remain strong means you have the ability to kind of fly under the radar and appeal to voters with semi-non-mainstream policies and the idea that because you've never been government, you're the principled protectors of Canadian values and will carry that idea forward if you give us a chance. But we know this isn't true once the pressure is applied, isn't it? The most stark example outside of Canada would be the capitulation and complete reversal of orientation of the Liberal Democrats of the UK, showing how third parties are generally no better than the major ones once their feet is to the fire. But we have plenty here, don't we? Because when pressure was applied during 2009, the NDP buckled. When pressure was applied during the long-gun registry vote, the NDP nearly buckled, and only luck and a unified Liberal Party saved it. And when budget 2011 comes up for a vote, we'll see if it'll happen again.

As I said, I understand the need to stand down and capitulate, and I understand the motives. After all, you are down in the polls and Michael Ignatieff's Liberals are looking like slightly more of a threat than was previously thought. Sure, your leader is popular, but your party is still stuck below your 1988 levels and it doesn't seem like that will change any time soon. Heck, even your fundraising is feeling the hurt. Keeping Harper's government while you prioritize and set up your defences is a smart move, really. It has the potential for some short-term pain, but that's OK. It'll help you.

But if you do vote to keep Harper's government alive, I swear to God, the next blogger, MP, or supporter to rant about how the Liberals are unprincipled to keep Harper's government alive will be socked right in the face (metaphorically, of course). Because let's face it, you're no better than us in any way, shape, or form. The mud of Ottawa covers all, and when that time comes, we'll see how much its covered you too.


  1. It's unlikely that Jack and possibly even the NDP will survive 2011.

    They have supported the Cons too many times over the last 5-6 years and their colours could hardly be described as orange as they allow corporate tax cuts, government boondoggles and other issues to go on while favouring one specific budget tweak - a generous description at that - for seniors. This has been their way for years and it must end.

    They have lost their way under this leadership and the NDP will either need to drastically update their platform and policies and STICK TO THEM or do all Canadians a favour and disappear.

  2. I dunno about that, but they are certainly proving to be failing their own strict standards of what they claim an Opposite does, aren't they?

  3. "They have supported the Cons too many times over the last 5-6 years"

    They supported the Conservatives once, in the fall of 2009, in exchange for more then a billion dollars in EI improvements. Once!

    People keep remembering all the times they thought NDP might support the government (including the upcoming budget) as if it had happened, when most of the time they didn't.

    The difference between the NDP one time support for the Conservatives and the Liberal nearly continuous support is that the NDP demanded something in return. The Liberals never demanded anything of substance the whole time.

    If NDP would be less sanctimonious, but the Liberals make it so easy.

  4. Oh, but you're forgetting that this just doesn't refer to confidence votes. ;)

    And do you honestly believe Layton would have let the government fall in 2009, whether he asked for anything or not? And oh yeah, good luck on "obtaining" something - 'cause that has really gone a long way.

    Face it, the NDP are nothing but a bunch of dirty politicians looking out for their hides more often than not. Like the rest of us.

  5. "And do you honestly believe Layton would have let the government fall in 2009, whether he asked for anything or not?"

    Yes. I understand his caucus needed some convincing even with what he got.

    "And oh yeah, good luck on 'obtaining' something - 'cause that has really gone a long way."

    It's hard to get "obtain" anything when the Liberals are giving it away free.

  6. What the caucus wants and what the leadership wants are often two different things, mate. The Dipper leadership at the time wasn't very ambivalent on the issue of propping up Harper, before or after the vote. I mean, seriously, the chance to bring down Harper and show up the Liberals mercilessly so, and you guys just happen to say, hm, maybe we should keep his government alive in exchange for what amounted to shit all? Please. You buckled under the pressure because of political reality, and Layton seems to be willing to do so again.

    What say you to that, hm? Knowing that the NDP got nothing last time, will your party trust Harper again? Or will you cave because its necessary for you to try and get an advantage before an election?

    Just admit it. I don't care. I understand the NDP, like all parties, must abandon their principles every once-in-a-while. Really, I get it. I won't think any less of you.

  7. Gotta love Liberal bloggers who attack Layton for trying to get a deal from the Tories.

    How many budgets have the Liberals voted for? What did they get in return?

  8. What I'm attacking, Lou, is the fact that the NDP are contradicting themselves, 'cause we all know that Harper isn't going to give them anything substantial, and barely any lip service, and Layton will follow lock-step behind him.

    Notice I haven't denied the Liberals have allowed the Conservatives a free pass. Also notice how I don't care if we, or the NDP, do it, because hey, we have our reasons, no? But don't contradict yourselves mkay? Mkay.