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.