9.29.2009

jack layton is a disgrace

From the Things I Thought I'd Never See Department, I am depressed and disgusted that Jack Layton and the New Democrats will prop up the Harper Government. At long, long last, the normally spineless Liberals finally decide they're ready to pull the trigger, and the NDP takes the gun out of their hands.

"Canadians don't want another election" doesn't play for me. Canadians don't need Stephen Harper as Prime Minister, and need every opportunity to attempt to oust him.

For reasons wmtc readers articulated before the last election, I feel strongly that our present government is bad for Canada. I'm not overjoyed at the prospect of an Ignatieff-led government, but at least I'd be hopeful for an improvement.

If Jack Layton is trying to prove that his party is not obstructionist, or that the Liberals don't lead them by the nose, he does so at the expense of his party's principles. And since principles are all the NDP has, Layton is a disgrace.

It pains me to say that. But there it is.

For my thoughts on what the NDP should be doing, see here.

34 comments:

Robert McClelland said...

Sigh. Why does the NDP have so many supporters that have their heads in the clouds. The reality is that an election will not oust Harper from power. The Liberals still haven't got their act together and an election with the economy as the number one issue is not good for the NDP.

The other reality is that neither the Liberals nor the New Democrats can recover from an election as fast as the Conservatives. Rushing into one before they're fully ready will only give the Cons the upper hand.

janfromthebruce said...

ok, I think Jack and the gang should support Iggy's non-confidence motion this week - happy campaign trails, because Iggy is a super leader.

Dr.Dawg said...

Normally I support assisted suicide, but not at the political level. Want a Harper majority? Bring down the government now. Ignatieff is posturing in the teeth of the polls; he has no leadership abilities, no articulate vision, not issue upon which to run.

Why should the NDP effectively contribute to certain Harper gains if an election is called this Fall? Meanwhile it can at least see that some money is put into the hands of the unemployed.

Martyrdom is not a politics, but a confession of defeat. If Ignatieff wants to fall on his sword, let him do it alone.

leftdog said...

So ... Jack Layton votes with the government on ONE occasion to get $1 Billion for the unemployed and you publish a post with the title ""jack layton is a disgrace" ... where, may I ask, are the 79 posts on this site that state, "Michael Ignatieff is a disgrace"?

Either be consistent or admit that you are a partisan Liberal.

L-girl said...

where, may I ask, are the 79 posts on this site that state, "Michael Ignatieff is a disgrace"?

Leftdog, posts declaring Michael Ignatieff a disgrace are all over this blog - practically every mention of Ignatieff on wmtc decries his lack of conviction, lack of principle, support for war, support for torture, etc. etc.

I am neither a partisan Liberal nor a partison NDPer.

I understand your complaint but it is not relevant here.

L-girl said...

Robert McClelland, everyone who observes the political scene and comes to a different conclusion than you does not have her "head in the clouds". It's called a difference of opinion.

L-girl said...

Normally I support assisted suicide, but not at the political level. Want a Harper majority? Bring down the government now.

If Harper couldn't get a majority running against Stephane Dion, I have every reason to think the "Harper will get a majority" cry is the same nonsense I've heard for all three of his elections so far.

I've been hearing about the Harper majority since 2006. If it didn't make an appearance in the last election, it won't be showing up any time soon.

Dr.Dawg said...

You're not keeping up with the polls, then.

bgk said...

*sigh*

Why do so many people come to post on one topic on a blog and cry hypocrisy without reading the rest of the posts?

Why is it so sad that someone who wants to hold Layton accountable for what he's said about the Liberals isn't acceptable?

*sigh*

L-girl said...

Bgk, thank you, and would you like a part-time position as my publicist? :)

bgk said...

As a fellow blogger, I get people like this at my place all the time.

I always appreciate it when a commenter sticks up for me, so its not the author v. the world...

and as a regular reader, I think you're pretty spot on about Canada and Progressive Politics in general.

Now, if I can just jump this 49th parallel, things will be better for me :)

Robert McClelland said...

Sorry, but if you believe Ignatieff can win even a teeny tiny minority right now then you do have your head in the clouds. Ignatieff hasn't even demonstrated he's capable of being the the leader of the opposition yet, let alone the Prime Minister. Ignatieff needs the time to demonstrate that. How much time depends on him but if the past month is any indication it will be a long time. Rest assured though that when the circumstances show there's a decent chance of ousting Harper the NDP will pull the plug. Until that happens why don't you...oh, I don't know, help those of us on the political side of the NDP for a change instead of attacking us.

bgk said...

@Robert

Yeah, because you know, holding your party leader accountable to his own criticisms of the Tories and Grits is completely unacceptable.

How about acknowledging that he's doing exactly what he didn't like from Ignatieff, and possibly read more of this blog to get that she's been a pretty ardent NDPer...

I know, its asking a lot, but this is L-girl's house; sometimes you should take your shoes off and get to know your neighbors before categorizing her off one post.

L-girl said...

Until that happens why don't you...oh, I don't know, help those of us on the political side of the NDP for a change instead of attacking us.

Robert, I have no idea how often you read this blog, but I have no particular interest in either attacking or helping political parties.

My interests are the values and principles I believe in, and how those can be translated into action. The NDP can easily win my support - I am 100% predisposed to support them. Voting for the NDP is the main reason I have applied for Canadian citizenship!

But as the party drifts rightward to the mythical centre, the NDP fills with disappointment and despair. If you take that as an attack, that's not my problem.

Robert McClelland said...

The NDP cannot remain rooted while the political spectrum moves away from it. This country is moving to the right at this particular time. So either the NDP moves with it or they get left further and further behind. Layton has moved the party right for the past 5 years and that is the only reason it's gaining more power. That's simply the reality of the situation and it will remain the reality until the political spectrum once again begins moving to the left.

I know that those of you who are rooted in place won't like this, but you do nobody any good by railing against the NDP for bowing to reality; especially when there's still more than enough left in the party to keep you satisfied (ie. they haven't by a long shot abandoned the war resistors you've been fighting for).

bgk said...

@Robert

there's still more than enough left in the party to keep you satisfied (ie. they haven't by a long shot abandoned the war resistors you've been fighting for).

Funny, the US Democrats tell me that all the time, and always manage to throw my needs under the bus when its convenient.

I still maintain that if you do not read more of the blog and solely judge L-girl off this one post, you're doing her and yourself a grave misjustice.

L-girl's blog is under no requirment to serve as a party mouthpiece for the NDP, and you're criticism of her is both unfair and unfounded.

And its just a wee touch presumptuous to tell L-girl via comments that the NDP should satisfy her... especially since you've demonstrated that this one post is all you read.

Greg said...

I've never really liked Jack Layton. He simply seems unauthentic in a personal sense. I don't believe him.

But I have to think that, being realistic, the NDP know that they can only get things done by getting one government or another to implement one of their policies. That's how we got health care, I think.

Is it a good idea to associate with Conservatives? Not really. But it may be what's needed.

As long as we can make it understood - this time - that voting Bloc or NDP is voting for a coalition government. Don't let the conservatives write the script this time.

redsock said...

Looks like the Iggyophiles and anti-NDPers are trolling Prog Blog and comin' 'round to any site with its "head in the clouds" aka one with an opinion that is outside their groupthink.

So either the NDP moves with it or they get left further and further behind.

It's ignorant attitudes like this (when applied to the Repubs and Dems down south) that paved the way for us to leave the US. As the US has moved alarmingly to the right over the last 30 years, so did the Democrats -- without too much prodding either, I might add -- to avoid getting "left behind".

No, the NDP must dig in its heels and state stronger than ever what it believes it. In general political terms, if something is the right thing to do, it is ALWAYS the right thing to do.

There is little doubt that Ignatieff is worthless as a progressive leader. Still, having him as PM would be better for Canada and all of its people, however incrementally that betterment might be.

Layton knows this and thus should bring down the Harper government. That he is not has undercut many of the criticisms he had previously made against Harper.

L-girl said...

The NDP cannot remain rooted while the political spectrum moves away from it. This country is moving to the right at this particular time. So either the NDP moves with it or they get left further and further behind.

Quite the opposite. It's precisely at the time when the country appears to be moving to the right that we need a strong leftist voice to speak to the many, many of us who don’t share that vision. If you look at the results of the last election configured for proportional representation, you will see that the rightward march is not nearly as pervasive as you might imagine it to be.

I know that those of you who are rooted in place won't like this, but you do nobody any good by railing against the NDP for bowing to reality; especially when there's still more than enough left in the party to keep you satisfied (ie. they haven't by a long shot abandoned the war resistors you've been fighting for).

First, your characterization of my leftist principles as "rooted in place" is condescending and unnecessary. Your comments make it clear that you know very little about my politics, so please do not make assumptions about them.

I would be "rooted in place" if I supported a political party no matter what they did or said. Rather, I support principles and a viewpoint, and if a party shares that vision, I support them. If the party does not, or pretends to in theory but in reality is something else, I call them on that.

Second, don't assume you know what is "left enough" for me, as you clearly do not.

Third, supporting war resisters is not a leftist position. The resisters also have the support of the Liberal party and of the Bloc.

I know the NDP still supports the resisters. I also know something you may not: that as Liberals have taken up that banner, support under the NDP has waned, because certain NDP MPs wanted to own the issue and now do not.

In general, it would be nice if you could discuss these issues without the smug condescension. Your *sigh when will they learn* attitude is an obstacle to an exchange of ideas, and it betrays your lack of respect for a difference of viewpoint.

redsock said...

Rushing into one [an election] before they're fully ready will only give the Cons the upper hand.

OMG! The Liberals have YEARS to get ready! How much longer do they fucking need?

All we have hear from the Libs is that the Conservatives are bad bad bad for Canada, but it's too cold for an election, now it's too hot, can't have it in the summer, can't have it near Xmas, can't have it because it's been raining for a week, can't have it because of this, that and a 1,000,000 other things ... but we're gonna bring these guys down, you better believe it ...

... maybe next year! So we'll just keep supporting whatever Harper puts out there in the meantime.

redsock said...

I've never really liked Jack Layton. He simply seems unauthentic in a personal sense. I don't believe him.

How does that make him different from just about every other politician?

L-girl said...

I do like Jack Layton personally, but that's completely irrelevant to me.

L-girl said...

So either the NDP moves with it or they get left further and further behind.

Until they are indistinguishable from the Liberals, and the two parties merge, and there is no left party in Canada. Then the newly reconstituted Liberals have no reason to ever be liberal to try to win liberal voters, the House of Commons has no conscience or principles whatsoever, and Canada becomes the US politically.

Those who cheer the NDP's march to the right would do well to study the US Democrats - not John Ibbitson's version of the Democrats, in which rhetoric is reality and Bill Clinton is a leftist, but the real US Democrats, based on the only thing that counts - their actions.

L-girl said...

So ... Jack Layton votes with the government on ONE occasion to get $1 Billion for the unemployed and you publish a post with the title ""jack layton is a disgrace" ... where, may I ask, are the 79 posts on this site that state, "Michael Ignatieff is a disgrace"?

Either be consistent or admit that you are a partisan Liberal.


I am wondering if Leftdog ever came back. Be consistent? Where are the 79 posts? Ferchrissakes, if you're going to spew bullshit like that, have the courtesy to come back and read the responses.

My anti-Ignatieff posts probably do number 79 by now...!

bgk said...

Run by trolling, tastes bad ... less filing.

Greg said...

Quite the opposite. It's precisely at the time when the country appears to be moving to the right that we need a strong leftist voice to speak to the many, many of us who don’t share that vision.

I looked it up in the dictionary. The thing you're looking for is "leadership". Good luck finding it on the left, or anywhere is Canadian politics. Everything is poll driven, except where it's driven by lies.

Greg said...

>> I've never really liked Jack Layton. He simply seems unauthentic in a personal sense. I don't believe him.

> How does that make him different from just about every other politician?

Howard Hampton, I believed. I actually thought, when he spoke, that I could count on him to carry out the proposals he espoused.

Jack Layton reminds me of Bob Rae. It may just be a public speaking failure, but I don't know that I can count on him. He's uninspiring.

redsock said...

You know what these comments are like?

Say there are a group of people sitting around a table. They have been talking passionately about politics for the last hour. Suddenly, some guy runs over to the table and starts blabbing. He's heard the last three words someone said and now presumes to know what the last hour's discussion has been.

No hello, no small talk to maybe join the conversation. No, just a boorish interruption to tell everyone they are naive and letting them know that *he* knows what "the facts" are.

Will he stay for a rational discussion? No -- he's quickly off to annoy another group of people.

L-girl said...

Say there are a group of people sitting around a table. They have been talking passionately about politics for the last hour. Suddenly, some guy runs over to the table and starts blabbing. He's heard the last three words someone said and now presumes to know what the last hour's discussion has been.

No hello, no small talk to maybe join the conversation. No, just a boorish interruption to tell everyone they are naive and letting them know that *he* knows what "the facts" are.

Will he stay for a rational discussion? No -- he's quickly off to annoy another group of people.


That's a great description of hit-and-run commenters.

I want to be fair and point out (for those who may not realize this) that Robert McClelland, Dr Dawg, Buckdog/Leftdog are all well known Canadian bloggers. I've left comments at their blogs from time to time over the years and I'm pretty sure they have occasionally left comments on wmtc.

That doesn't make these particular comments any less knee-jerk or misinformed about my opinions.

But in this case, the guy running over to the table is someone we recognize from a few tables over in the same room - perhaps someone we know as more given to proclaiming loudly than to listening to what others have to say.

Cornelia said...

O shit, I'm so sorry!!! Jack Layton should not have done that!! I am not happy with him!!

Tom said...

While I am not happy with Layton propping the up, I also see it as pragmatic. The Liberals have chosen yet another uninspiring wimpy leader who cannot beat Harper in the polls.

So Layton seeing the writing on the wall that most likely we will have yet another year of Tories if we have an election now is taking what he can get out of them.

I am angry at Iggy for squashing the coalition last winter and forcing Harper on us. The left needs to unite and get a real majority. 62% of Canadians oppose the Tories, there is no reason they should be in power, the left needs to stop enabling them.

Dharma Seeker said...

Sit DOWN Robert McClelland.

You're entitled to set your own standards and then decide whether or not they have been met, as is L. If they haven't been met she doesn't need your permission to feel disappointed, or express disappointment. That should be obvious but having read the comments I'm not sure it is.

Partisan, non-partisan, Liberal, NDP, surely we can agree to disagree - or better yet exchange ideas and have a dialogue an actual dialogue.

MSS said...

If the NDP had only principles, it would not be as large as it is since the last election. Now it has bargaining power, which is both better than principles, and useless if you don't use it. Would they and their supporters actually be better off after a new election? I will leave that to the better informed. But obviously the party leadership decided in the negative.

Cornelia said...

I just called Bill Siksay's constituency office and talked to a lady named Jane why Harper doesn't get voted out of office right away. She told me it's only because extending welfare grants to people who are unemployed due to the reces...sion is more vital right now than pushing for an election at present. That doesn't mean necessarily that there won't be an election before Harper's term of office is over just that it won't be right now because helping people out with more social security is of primary relevance at present.