9.15.2009

jack layton cannot be serious

CBC: "Layton signals NDP could support Tory EI plan"

This must be political posturing. Must be an attempt to not appear to want an election for the sake of election. To differentiate the NDP from the Liberals. To appear to be more concerned with getting things done than with in getting power. So many layers there: posturing in order to not look like you're posturing.

The NDP cannot possibly want to be perceived as the party that props up the Harper Government. Hardcore NDP voters will be disgusted, and Liberal/NDP swing voters will vote Liberal.

So this must be political posturing.

Yet most pundits - including most bloggers - take it at face value.

22 comments:

Jennie / Jae said...

I don't know. They've all lost my respect, but at this point, anybody who prevents THE SECOND ELECTION WITHIN A YEAR at least has my profound thanks.

L-girl said...

You'd rather see the NDP prop up the Conservatives than have a chance to turf them?

Scott M. said...

Never quite got election phobia... but...

Jack Layton knows the NDP will (likely) never be in Government, and will certainly never win a majority. As such, when he has the balance of power and the ability to manipulate, it makes sense for him to use that power even if it is for a limited time.

I just wish he would focus on proportional representation rather than the issue of the day so we can fix the underlying problem with our system.

L-girl said...

Scott, I completely agree on both counts.

But presumably Jack wants his party to win seats, so he can use what power they have. And he knows - must know - that he will not win seats if he props up the Conservatives.

bgk said...

This is soooooo not the Jack Layton I've read about and learned about. I cannot believe that Layton would prop up the Tory Government.

I also don't get why elections being called are SUCH A BIG DEAL that people are afraid of them.

But, you know, I'm still stuck south of the parallel.

L-girl said...

I cannot believe that Layton would prop up the Tory Government.

Me neither, and I don't think they will.

I also don't get why elections being called are SUCH A BIG DEAL that people are afraid of them.

But, you know, I'm still stuck south of the parallel.


Well, bgk, I've been here 4 years and I don't know why they're such a big deal either. As I said, I stopped trying to figure it out. I just accept it, and disagree with it.

Also, Jack L

bgk said...

Please forgive my ignorance L-girl. Is Jack L the preferred name for the Leader of the Federal NDP or was there more to that comment than was published?

L-girl said...

Ha ha, no actually there is less than published. That was from an earlier version and should have been deleted!

Jennie / Jae said...

You'd rather see the NDP prop up the Conservatives than have a chance to turf them?

Yes, yes, and a thousand times yes!

This is a minority government. In a minority government, parties are SUPPOSED to work together. If the NDP can get concessions out of the Conservatives on EI, enough that they're willing to support them on the bill in question, then yes, THEY SHOULD VOTE FOR IT. That is how parliamentary democracy WORKS, dammit. If you agree with what the government of the day is doing, you support them as is. You don't agree with what they're doing, you try to change their mind and turn what they're doing into something you agree with, and THEN you support them. You don't look for the first opportunity to "turf" them, and you DON'T govern by the stupid polls, and you DEFINITELY don't send people back to the polls within a freaking YEAR unless there's a DAMN GOOD REASON.

When I was in the Netherlands this past summer, I tried to explain Canadian politics to them, and every time they would end up making some remark like: "wow, I had no idea Canada was so unstable" (in a tone that made it sound more like "wow, I had no idea Canada was a third-world banana republic"). It was freaking embarrassing.

(And you guys wonder why I don't blog anymore. Consider yourselves lucky--my posts would all be frothing, angry rants not unlike this comment.)

Jennie / Jae said...

Oh, and it's not about "election phobia", at least not for sane people. It's about wanting the votes we just cast to matter for a little bit longer, like they do all over the rest of the freaking world. In a sane country, you don't get to come back and ask us within a year: "but did you really mean it?"

The other factor that probably matters more to you is the fact that if we have an election now, the Conservatives will win a majority. You can count on it. Because that's the line they'll take: "we are the only party that can form a majority, and we need one to finally have some stability." A whole lot of people are fed up with this constant uncertainty and are willing to hold their noses and vote. So unless you want to hand absolute power over to these bozos, you might want to rethink your election fever.

redsock said...

The other factor that probably matters more to you is the fact that if we have an election now, the Conservatives will win a majority. You can count on it. ... So unless you want to hand absolute power over to these bozos, you might want to rethink your election fever.

It's funny. This is exactly what several commenters said here -- and bloggers all across Canada said -- before the LAST election. And they were dead wrong. All of them. Wrong.

Harper could not get a majority against Dion -- in an election he called himself -- and you think it's a "fact" that he'll get one now? Please.

Walking around saying "THIS is going to happen, count on it" about things in the future will only make you look like an idiot.

redsock said...

And by "funny", I mean really annoying.

Somewhere in here, L has written about political know-it-alls [sic].

Jennie / Jae said...

redsock,

Fine, go ahead and call me an idiot. (That's not exactly the level of courtesy I'd expect from someone who'd be partnered with Laura, but whatever.) I still stand by what I said.

I talk to voters all the time, and the mood among the electorate is very different from last time. Scores of people are willing to vote for whoever will give things a little more stability. It's in the media narrative, and it's on the doorstep. This has little to do with Dion or Ignatieff or even Harper, and more to do with the fact that people are sick of seeing their government not work. And I can't even blame them--I feel exactly the same way, but I'm not willing to vote Conservative to change things.

If we do have an election, I would love to be proven wrong. But I'm still hoping...fervently!...for no election until at least 2010.

redsock said...

Fine, go ahead and call me an idiot.

I did not call you an idiot. I said that saying "This will happen. There is no chance it will not happen" will make you look like an idiot.

Everyone is quite fond of making grandiose (and dire) predictions about politics, but they are almost always wrong.

And the meme of "oh noes, harper will get a majority FOR SURE and turn canada into the usa" is a particularly silly refrain we have been hearing for the past few years, spoken with the certainty of tomorrow's sunrise from people who should absolutely know better.

Laura has written about this trend before. Maybe she can link to some of her posts.

redsock said...

Here is one:

December 1, 2008:

2. Many people would appear smarter if they stopped making predictions.

"Harper will first be elected with a minority, then come back with a strong majority." "There will never be a coalition government in Canada." "Stephane Dion will never be Prime Minister." "Americans will never elect an African-American President."

I have been hearing all of these for years. My first few months in Canada, I heard about Stephen Harper's impending majority government on a daily basis. My skepticism was dismissed as ignorance. But the future is unknowable.

I wish more bloggers would stop imitating mainstream pundits, who earn their bread-and-butter by making predictions and are never held accountable.

****

redsock said...

July 28, 2006:

Many Canadians believe it's virtually guaranteed that the Harper government will come back with a majority in the next election. ... I believe it's premature to predict the outcome. ...

Of course I don't know any more than anyone making these bold predictions, but I've come to realize I don't know that much less, either.

*****

L-girl said...

This is a minority government. In a minority government, parties are SUPPOSED to work together.

Stephen Harper has gotten every single thing he's wanted for almost four years. He's been governing with a de facto majority government, because of the do-nothing Liberals.

No government should last forever and it is high time - past time - for a change, IMO.

L-girl said...

You don't look for the first opportunity to "turf" them,

First opportunity? I cannot imagine how anyone could seriously describe an upcoming election as the "first opportunity", except in the most local sense of the first opportunity after the summer recess.

(And you guys wonder why I don't blog anymore. Consider yourselves lucky--my posts would all be frothing, angry rants not unlike this comment.)

I doubt any of your former readers consider themselves lucky that you don't blog anymore. You are much missed in the blogosphere.

But I also doubt anyone here is wondering why you don't blog anymore, because I doubt anyone knows who Jennie/Jae is!

L-girl said...

When the Conservatives were first elected shortly after we came to Canada, everyone was saying they would first get a minority then come back and win a majority. ... Still waiting.

In those days the bold predictions used to scare me. Now I recognize election predictions - both when there will be an election and its outcome - as a Canadian pasttime, and I ignore them all.

I see the track records of all the predicters and I realize it's all just blather.

Jennie / Jae, although I don't think Redsock called you an idiot, please do take into account that no one here knows you as Jennie / Jae, and you appear to someone whose first comment on this blog is foaming at the mouth with liberal use of ALL CAPS. When you do that, you've got to expect a strong reaction. If I didn't know who you were, I might have been a little less polite, too.

Jennie / Jae said...

All right. I have nothing to back up my canvassing-induced impressions that a lot of voters are willing to go with "a majority government, any majority government" next time, so I'll let it go. It was an afterthought on my second comment, anyway--not at all the point I was trying to make. And it's certainly not at all what I'm angry about these days.

I'm just so sick and tired of any attempts to make this minority government behave like minority governments do in saner countries being dismissed as "getting power" or being "too chicken" to cause an unnecessary election. The NDP was wrong to make those comments about the Liberals, and the Liberals are wrong to make them about the Bloc and the NDP. You're supposed to have talks with other parties and negotiate, and yes, support them if they are willing to compromise. You are right that Harper is an ass who usually gets his own way. But like it or not, lots of people voted for his party not all that long ago, and if there were an election today, lots of people would vote for that same party now, too. That means that he has to be worked with one way or another. And so any party that succeeds in actually getting him to change his policy on something in that process will have my profoundest thanks.

I just feel so frustrated and despairing when people act like cooperation between parties is something horrifying and to be avoided at all costs. It's how things work in most parliamentary democracies around the world--people work with people they disagree with because that's what people voted for. I used to think it was just our politicians who were crappy at it, but that the people at least were still reasonable about it. But when I hear people condemning it over and over again these days, my hopes that Canada might ever change in this respect go out the window.

J.

P.S. I'm posting under this name because it happens to be the account I was logged in with right now. I knew you would know who it was, and it was you I was responding to, so I saw no reason to hunt down my old password. And when I referred to people wondering why I don't blog anymore, I was a) talking to you, and b) referring to people in general, not people who happen to hang out here and read these particular comments.

L-girl said...

Jennie / Jae, I have/had no problem with your login, I wasn't implying it was done for nefarious reasons or anything squirrely. I just wanted to clarify that wmtc readers most likely did not know who you were.

L-girl said...

I just feel so frustrated and despairing when people act like cooperation between parties is something horrifying and to be avoided at all costs.

I understand that, and I agree with it - totally.

However, I do think it's high time for an election. Higher than high time. Long, long past due.

It's ok to want parties to work together, and it's ok to want an election, too.