Thursday, October 18, 2007

Are the Stars Realigning?

Well finally some good news!

Imagine my surprise to hear Bob Fife and Mike Duffy actually saying something hopeful about Stephane Dion. (There is a video clip on the right hand side of the link.)

Getting Garneau back is a very good move. It, on it's own of course, will not reverse all that ails the Liberals in Quebec, but it is a good start.

There seems to be a genuine recognition of what they have done wrong and what they must concentrate on. I think this is a good sign, a very good sign in fact.

Today, once again, the media were tough on the decision made by Dion yesterday, preferring to describe his decision as craven rather than any honest analysis of what the man is facing. Tough guy Harper on the other hand, was lauded as being a great strategist.

Dion reaching out to Garneau, I think tells us a little bit more about the resignation of Proulx. It was reported that he found out that Dion was shopping around for a new Quebec lieutenant and that caused his resignation. That may be fact, but if indeed he was not doing his due diligence in the province, I don't see looking for someone who can do the job more effectively as a bad thing. Having been in business, a lifetime ago, I did that often. What is revealing here is that Proulx and two potential candidates for his job, Coderre and Rodríguez, supported Ignatieff. Maybe the rumours therefore, have some basis to them and it's about time they were called on it. Unlike the media I do not think that there is move aground to displace Dion immediately but I do think that these three have yet to get over their loss. My humble advice to Ignatieff? Reign these self-interested politicians in. They in my opinion, would be the most likely leaks from the Party. I'm not sure how you confirm that. Perhaps tell them something bogus and watch it make the news?

Anyway, Garneau is back in and Dion can be credited with that.

Have the stars realigned? Let's just say they are moving in a positive direction at the moment.

Update - Here is a thoughtful article, forwarded to me by Gayle.

53 comments:

FB said...

KNB can you say flip flop? Remember that Marc Garneau also ran in 2006 for Paul Martins liberals, and lost.

If you think that this is going to change the liberal fortunes in Québec,then i have some swamp land to sell you in Florida.

The problems with the liberals in Québec is not necessarily their candidates its Dion period. There is nothing they can do about this right now.

I know i live here in Québec, you should hear
what the French media and the French people say about him. Even the
english people say that he is a very weak leader whether you like it or not.

Its no coincidence that
he will run in a relative safe ridding,but so was Outremont remember?

For you desperate Liberals any news is good news i assume, that is until the next crises.:) Its nice to dream isn't?

ottlib said...

The media reaction Mr. Dion's decision was absolutely predictable.

The irony is if Mr. Dion would have brought down the government they would then have said he was a fool.

Mr. Dion cannot win at the moment with regard to the media.

However, I would point to a piece by Scott Reid in the Toronto Star a couple of days ago. What he says about the media and their ability to "strategize" politics is bang on.

fb: I would remind you of an ancient Chinese proverb: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

knb said...

Did you read the post fb?

I did not say that this will change their fortunes, I said it's a move in the right direction.

Gee, do you think if you don't live in Quebec you can't access the media there?

Oh and about dreaming, you could actually teach the rest of us about that.

Nice try fb, but your argument does not relate to reality. Of course, that would be expected of a Harper lover.

(I'm from Quebec btw)

knb said...

ottlib: The irony is if Mr. Dion would have brought down the government they would then have said he was a fool.

Exactly, that is why I was gratified by this little slice of reason.

Will it hold? I doubt it. Salacious sound bites, seem to be the goal these days, but one step at a time and this was a good one.

FB said...

KNB

"Did you read the post fb?"

"I did not say that this will change their fortunes, I said it's a move in the right direction."

Yes I did read the post. I also remember that some of the same comments were made when Paul Martin picked him as a star candidate remember?

"Gee, do you think if you don't live in Quebec you can't access the media there?"

Come on did I say that?
I doubt that you listen to french radio talk shows,french tv or read the french press from Québec on a regular basis no insult intended here.

The liberal base in Québec is the English speakin people in which they are all concentrated in a small part of the province.

Even the english speaking people are more and more moving to the Conservatives.

"Oh and about dreaming, you could actually teach the rest of us about that."

I think your party invented the dream.

"Nice try fb, but your argument does not relate to reality. Of course, that would be expected of a Harper lover."

Your right KNB its the reason why we are about to go to a third year with Harper imagine with a minority. So keep dreaming.

"(I'm from Quebec btw)"

You may be from Québec, but your in Mississauga, Ontario, now!!! Anyways makes no difference,because you know I'm right when it comes to Québec, spin it as you wish.

Scotian said...

KNB:

I would also point something else out, that if we start seeing Dion looking like this in the media view more and more often then the smear campaign of the CPC against him will have not only failed but also may have immunized him against such attacks down the road. After all, if he was able to manage to come back after the hard year he has had so far trying to repair a badly dysfunctional party that had lost government, survived an unprecedented concerted series of attack ads by the current governing party from the moment he won the leadership race onwards, and even survived the shellacking he has been getting for his decision to not bring down the government, the he is clearly not only a leader but a real fighter that does not give up easily.

I will find it incredibly ironic and all too typical a result of the type of politics Harper practices if this were to come about, because while he tends to be short term tactically quite sharp (most times) too often the strategic implications of those "genius" moves turns out to be more damaging for Harper and his party within the electorate than the damage inflicted on the target of the day (almost invariably the Liberals, which given that the NDP platform and principles are far more at odds with Harper's CPC principles shows an at the minimum tacit agreement between them to focus their guns more on the Libs than each other for their own petty partisan gains). It would also remind Canadian voters of how they tend to like/respect PMs that are tough yet not brassy, strong without feeling the need to constantly trumpet their own strength, and confident/self assured without being arrogant and condescending, all these negative traits Harper displays in abundance while Dion the more repected form. which is branded as "weakness" by Harper and too many CPCers.

While I think this is a good sign it does need to be followed up with others and a trend emerge before my projection has any real chance of being proven out, but it would not surprise me if that turns out to be the case. Too often in Dion's life his soft spoken style and his preference for dialogue and civility tend to cause people to miss that he is also a survivor and a dedicated fighter, which is one of the main reasons the Quebecois Separatists hate his guts so much. After all it is not just the federalism that he believes in but how fiercely he fought for it and undercut their attempts to create the country of Quebec. Harper attracts from the BQ mainly soft to hard nationalists who like his decentralized government beliefs since it would make the eventual creation of a separate nation of Quebec that much easier by already transferring many of the powers in the interim, showing that the Assembly can use them responsibly and undercut the argument for staying in Canada. It was Harper that also was the PM that said "Quebec is a nation" despite the clearly risky nature in the long term of any Canadian PM doing so. So the Quebec numbers do not worry me as much about Dion's real leadership given the circumstances, even if they are of some concern strictly regarding seat totals in play overall.

I also found it interesting to note the amount of anger within the online CPC community about Dion's decision. It is clear they and the CPC were primed for an election to come from this TS, and the fact that Dion managed to find a relatively graceful way out AND also put Harper in the position of following through on his confidence fest threat making him look that much more dictatorial and undemocratic in nature, one of if not his greatest electoral Achilles heel has really angered many within the CPC and its partisans/supporters. Harper has a problem; he has not delivered much of anything to the average voter (except pain like with the income trusts treachery, especially with those that took Harper at his word and invested more into them once he won government) despite being the government for almost 2 full years now, especially given that he was able to run his minority like a majority for the first year thanks to the Lib leadership race, something obvious to everyone. That lack of a real record is something he cannot escape, and if problems are found in the books by the AG report next time out as well as the ongoing investigations into election fraud by the CPC in the last cycle, well Harper and his party may well start looking almost as corrupt as the Libs did after 13 years in government yet managing it in only a couple of years with only a minority, hardly a recommendation for a majority now is it...*evil chuckle*

FB said...

Scotian

Geeez after reading your post I had to run outside to see if the sky was falling, but of course it wasn't.

I'm surprised you didn't call him (Harper)a monster.

You lefties need to relax breath from your nostrils in and out, because the sky isn't falling.

knb said...

Beautiful Scotian. I'd like to respond tomorrow to some of your points, because I think you raise what we are not thinking about.

fb...you are going to take Scotian on? LOL!

btw, a leftie is an NDP'er. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but your sad attempt to portray Lib's as leftie's, is nothing more than what we see in the States. That would be dumb, in case you missed it.

The Right is Where its At said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FB said...

KNB

"Not that there is anything wrong with that, but your sad attempt to portray Lib's as leftie's, is nothing more than what we see in the States. That would be dumb, in case you missed it."

Sorry but nice try. I understand that people like you doesn't like to be called lefties.
They are afraid what the electorate may think.

But if you really think that the Liberals under Dion's leadership are not left then you are really fooling yourself or just living in LA! LA! Land.

The Right is Where its At said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FB said...

KNB

"btw, a leftie is an NDP'er."

No a leftie is a NDP'er,
Green and liberals under
Dion's leadership. If you
don't believe that then your just fooling yourself or just living in LA! LA! land.

knb said...

John..I do not know what fp stands for, I could give suggestions, but I won't.

If you want to debaate, stand up and be a man and do it. It you want to attack behind a fake name...you are a coward.

FB said...

Sorry knb i don't know what your talking about but I'm not John. I don't even know who is John. I just wish you wouldn't be so insulting.

FB said...

Lets see if your a big enough person to apologize me.

FB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scotian said...

KNB:

I do not take on clearly unarmed foes where battles of wit are concerned, if I did then that is all I would be doing given the vast amount of such out there supporting the Harper CPC these days. Sorry, but I have better things to do with my time and energy. I also do not feel the need to automatically respond to someone trashing me and/or my work, unlike some folks I am quite secure in my sense of self and no person who has not demonstrated a reason for me to respect them (even those I fundamentally am in disagreement with, for me respect does not come from thinking alike, it comes from being intellectually honest, consistent in application of principles, and most importantly practicing what one preaches) has any ability to offend/irritate me enough to respond to them.

I don't bite on bait easily, and when I do I tend to do so knowingly, which defeats the main purpose. I also do not tend to lose my temper, and that also undercuts their ability to actually look like they are beating me in an argument, and I also drive them nuts with my detailed writings, it makes it far harder to twist my meanings around without being obvious about it which clearly infuriate many like John as you may recall.

As for your request, sure, I should be around for at least a few hours tomorrow afternoon, if not I will check in by Saturday at the latest, I promise, ok?

FB said...

KNB if you really want to know what FB is I'll they are my initials happy. The last time i looked John doesn't start with (F).

Scotian said...

Wow, someone thinks they are the center of the world, perhaps the idea that someone has yet to read the latest comments and therefore cannot respond to them, especially given the short length of time from first to last is simply too difficult a concept to grasp. Perhaps once they advance from preschool childishness they might actually act like an adult instead of a wailing crybaby.

FB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FB said...

Scotian I"M not looking for an argument with you I was just responding to one of your post. In which i think that your so critical of this government that no matter what they do is wrong in your opinion that's what i meant by the sky is falling. Now you can take this the way you want it but there was no insult intended if i did I'M sorry.

About the criticism of me when you say that I think that I'm the center of the world. I was just defending myself from knb, she calls me a coward,because she thinks that I'm someone that I'm not.

KNB:

I'll wait until tomorrow and really see if your a honest woman and apologize to me or if your a coward that you called me. Let us see who really is the coward knb.

burlivespipe said...

Scotian you've hit a theme that is definitely under the radar but one that worries punters like this fb dipstick. Harper's modus operandi, especially in the House, is creating minor schisms in his own support. People who weren't among the 'do as i say, not as i do' crowd, who expected a gov't that brought a new sense of decorum and value to the halls of parliament. This PM, who cheerleaded his crew to rudely laugh at the opposition leader during his speech, proved to be low-class and deserving of disdain. And people can see it, they can't help but seeing it.
Canadians aren't the type to embrace a classless bully, and that could be one of the secret reasons those polling numbers continue to bounce up and down from 34% but have not gained anything from the recent Liberal troubles.
Mark my words, if Harper isn't able to get a couple of consistent 38+% polls in the next few months, the occasional whisper behind the Blue curtain is going to get louder. He's running the show and failure will be at his feet.
Dion, meanwhile, has risen in my estimation over the past 24 hours.

knb said...

Scotian, what I meant by comment to you yesterday is that you what is not articulated often, but I think it lies just beneath the surface for most Canadians, most people in fact.

People are attracted to a sense of decency and repelled by arrogance and bullying, as burl said.

Most Canadians do not see Harper and Dion interacting, nor do they see them respond to the same issues.

When Dion is interviewed, the focus is never on government issues, the media's sole focus is on Liberal Party matters in Quebec.

Last week on QP, Taber continued down that road again, but Dion had some success at answering while including some policy.

I hope to see more of this as well as more of what we saw with Garneau today. I also hope Garneau's entry into the party attracts other strong candidates.

When you think of the Liberal team and contrast it with the con's, the differences are striking.

More exposure will stand us in good stead I think, provided some of the media find it more compelling than digging up dirt.

ottlib said...

burl et al:

When is the media going to change the channel regarding Mr. Harper's dismal polling numbers?

The MSM has been unrelenting in the past few months about the perceived shortcomings of Mr. Dion yet he and the Liberals are still hanging in there and Mr. Harper is still languishing below the level of support he won on election night in 2006.

I am going to assume that if that keeps up the media is going to have to change the channel just to maintain its own credibility.

Eventually Canadians will wonder what the media is smoking if the current situation persists and the media continues to talk about how well the Conservatives are doing politically.

Some in the media are already questioning the conventional media wisdom and I expect more voices will be added to that in the coming months.

That is why Mr. Harper is so keen to have an election now. He wants to go when the media narrative is still in his favour. Once that channel changes he and the Conservatives will be toast.

knb said...

fb, John or whoever you are: I'll wait until tomorrow and really see if your a honest woman and apologize

Since I never said I would apologize, not doing so now does not make me dishonest.

Here's the thing. Your spelling, grammar and use of double exclamation marks, is identical to John's. Secondly, the two posts that have been deleted, were deleted by John and one of them said exactly the same thing as your post @10:23pm.

Lastly, you and John seem to share the same ISP address. Odd that?

knb said...

ottlib: That is why Mr. Harper is so keen to have an election now. He wants to go when the media narrative is still in his favour.

I agree completely.

Once that channel changes he and the Conservatives will be toast.

Fingers crossed.

FB said...

KNB i see that your not a big enough women to apologize. Who is the coward here?

People are so hurtful accuse you of being someone your not, great.

It just shows how mean spirited that you are.

knb said...

Good grief, what do you want me to apologise for? You and John share the same computer. I simply pointed that out.

Comment all you want under whatever name you want, but don't expect not to be noticed for doing so.

FB said...

KNB

"Here's the thing. Your spelling, grammar and use of double exclamation marks, is identical to John's. Secondly, the two posts that have been deleted, were deleted by John and one of them said exactly the same thing as your post @10:23pm."

Quant à mon grammaire, vous n'avez aucune idée de quelle langue je parle. Alors avant de critiquer la grammaire vous devez t'arrêter et à réfléchir.
Est-il possible que l'anglais n'est pas ma langue maternel? Si vous ne comprenez pas ici est la traduction:

Translation to english:

As to my grammar, you have no idea what language i speak do you? So before criticizing me over grammar stop and think.
Is it possible that english is not my first language?

Just ,because i copied someone else post because i happen to believe with him it doesn't make me. So it was deleted how should i know did it.

Criticizing me for my grammar not knowing if english is my first language really smart isn't?

Now that i explained everything lets see how big of a woman that you are and apologize.

knb said...

I did not criticise your grammar, nor would I with the amount of mistakes I make. I simply pointed out that it is same as John's.

Look, I'm sorry your offended but you're really making a mountain out of a molehill.

FB said...

KNB

Correction on this part:

"As to my grammar, you have no idea what language i speak do you? So before criticizing me over grammar stop and think.
Is it possible that english is not my first language?

Just ,because i copied someone else post because i happen to AGREE with him it doesn't make me THAT PERSON. So it was deleted how should i know who did it.

FB said...

KNB

"Look, I'm sorry your offended but you're really making a mountain out of a molehill."

I a accept your apology !

Gayle said...

KNB - you caved! You must be weak! :)

Here is an editorial from today's Journal. You might like it.

http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/opinion/story.html?id=3cb55417-36b3-4d89-82ed-b1b4b8e3b121

Scotian said...

KNB:

So they share the same ISP addy, hmmm? So if somehow it is not John it is someone John is close to and either lives with him or is close enough that he lets them use his computer and net connection for a lot of blog trolling. Given the propensity for CPC supporters online to use sock puppets to try and make their arguments and positions appear to have more support than they really do your suspicion is entirely reasonable and understandable.

Ottlib raises a very good point regarding the media narrative and how it is going to start turning because if the current one were true/making sense then the Lib poll numbers would also be collapsing instead of staying within a 5-6 point range since the last election. It also has forgotten one of the old tropes about leadership poll numbers, that the PM invariably has higher numbers than opposition leaders, especially newer leaders who have yet to fight and election campaign in that position, and therefore leadership numbers while in opposition are not anywhere near as reliable a tell for support as the party numbers for that reason.

Burlivespipe, thank you for your kind words, and I agree with your take on the wider public and what they respond best to from their political leaders and the potential splits within the voter base the CPC tapped last time out. After all, they have governed in a more secretive manner than the Liberals, they have pandered to Quebec even more blatantly than the Liberals, they are willing to interfere in Provincial elections (see Quebec again) and have not lived up to the promises they made about being an open and honest government which got them some of the change vote then but without follow-through will not likely get those votes next time out. So the CPC is clearly running a real risk of internal divisions by Harper's approach and he is trying to keep the lid on it long enough to have an election and get his majority that he is clearly fixated/obsessed with. Which is another one of the reasons why I think delaying an election now was the right call by Dion even given the negatives that come with it for him and the party at least in the short term.

Finally KNB, I try to look at not just the superficial aspects of politics and the political dynamics of this country but deeper into them, because if all I was interested in were the superficials then I could just read the various pundits and let them do my thinking for me (yes I know, a bit snarky, but given what I have been seeing from them I think it is fair). I also try to remember something many political junkies tend to forget, that voters are human beings with all the variable quirkiness that comes with that and are not always easily read nor predicted and that to reduce them to simple calculations not only does them a disservice but also the analysis being done a disservice. Thank you for your kind words about me in this regard, much appreciated.

FB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FB said...

Gayle

Go to this LINK.

I'M sorry to say that your way links don't always work. I hope i was helpful to.

knb said...

LOL Gayle.

Thanks for the article. How refreshing to see something written with thought, rather than the usual lines, taken like dictation from the government.


Scotian, I agree wholeheartedly. I try to trust my instincts on such issues.

While the nasty tone of some press,the Con's and their followers, would have us believe that they are the expression of the majority, that is not my experience.

FB said...

Scotian:

If you felt like being attacked last night it wasn't my intention to do
so,I APOLOGIZE IF YOU FELT BEING ATTACK.

I just profoundly disagree with your politics.

Its been argued with the troubles that the liberals has had this past month the Harpers numbers should have been higher.

I also remember last winter when the media and everyone else were attacking the Conservatives over the detainees,because they got hammered over it,their polls number didn't falter much.

So this lets me think that the Conservative base is much stronger then what anyone may think.

I could also remember Jean Chrétien also won a majority government with only 38% of the vote.

If you remember the right was divided first with reform and pc,then alliance and pc.

Since the right united we had minority governments. Now the left has the same problem that the right had back then. Just take a look when the NDP or GREEN rise in the polls they seem to take away from the liberals this is a fact.

This is why i think when you see polls for Harper that hangs around mid 30's you should calculate vote splitting. Thank you for listening.

FB said...

KNB sorry my post 2:30 PM
is not just destine scotian it is destine to all.

Ryan said...

As a New Democrat, I'd like to interject here.

The political spectrum, for those who never learned it in grade 10 (fb?)is:

Christian Heritage Far Right
Conservatives Centre-Right
Liberals & Greens Centre
NDP & Bloc Quebecois Centre-Left
Marxist-Leninists Far Left

Methinks Right leaning Liberal voters may drift conservative and left leaning Liberal votes may drift to the NDP. And vise-versa, of course.

This social studies lesson has been brought to you by the letters N, D, and P.

knb said...

Well done Ryan.

I dispute how you describe the future, because the con's have chosen a middle road, a guise of who they are. They are playing a good game, but it's bogus.

You correctly state that the Lib's are in the middle, but in Canada, that means middle with a strong emphasis toward social programs.

I think your leader is making a mistake. I understand why Jack would take that tack, but and it's a big BUT, he voted the Lib's down who represented much of what he wanted to accomplish.

I know the NDP keeps pushing that Canadians decided, but they ignore the fact that the decision wouldn't have existed had they not brought the gov't down.

I think you're great, but your leader has some "splain'in" to do.

ottlib said...

knb:

I was shocked to read such an editorial from the Edmonton Journal.

It is a Canwest newspaper I believe and most of their political editorials come straight from the Head Office in Winnipeg and those editorials usually have very little good to say about the Liberals or Mr. Dion.

As I read it I kept expecting the next paragraph to begin the exercise in trashing the Liberals. Sometimes to sound reasonable and "objective" Canwest editorials like to start off with faint praise of the Liberals before trashing them relentlessly.

Imagine my surprise when this did not happen.

knb said...

ottlib: Imagine my surprise when this did not happen.

Mine too. Thanks to Gayle, we actually got a view at a reasoned response.

Where are the other voices of reason? People I respect in fact, have failed to do that.

Gayle said...

I was a little surprised by the editorial myself, but since they printed an editorial two days earlier urging Dion not to vote against the Throne speech, I think they had to back that up when he did as they suggested.

I think the key is here:

"and we'll say Dion has shown a lot more interest in Edmonton than the southern Alberta prime minister in the last year and a half"

We live in a city that has largely been ignored by the conservatives both provincially and federally. Everyone sucks up to Calgary and ignores Edmonton.

If the letters to the editor are anything to go by, Edmontonians are getting sick of the conservatives. The last provincial election saw a number of liberal and NDP MLA's elected here. Let's hope something similar happens federally. I still have great hope for McLellan's old riding. The liberal candidate there is well known and well respected.

Anyway, the same day that editorial appeared there was column from Lorne Gunter basically saying Dion is a fool and a wimp. Typical Gunter.

Ryan said...

Gayle, lest we forget Linda Duncan in Strathcona? ;)

KNB - I may have been misunderstood. When I said that voters drift, I didn't mean in the future, I meant in general. The "and vice-versa" part was supposed to signify that NDP voters drift Liberal, as do Conservative voters on occasion.

As far as Jack, yeah I know. I don't agree with it myself entirely. I sympathize with many members of the party I belong to, in that they want to see the NDP break out of their status as third party. I think that's the goal.

Unfortunately, rather than the grassroots approach that I favour, (I'm a bit of a CCF nostalgist) Jack is going the professional politics route (that the Liberals have been masters of since at least the days of the Rouge and the Bleu.) There may be fears of a repeat of the 93, 74 and 68 elections where once the NDP cooperated too much in the prior election with the Liberals they were wiped out. I guess that's how he thinks we can win seats. I disagree, but what can you do? I've written letters, but you know how that goes.

I won't lie though, if I thought the Liberals represented values similar to the NDP, I'd support that party instead. Unfortunately, the last 14 years or so have convinced me otherwise.

Ten times better than the Conservatives, of course (which in my opinion are much further to the right than on the diagram I made).

Scotian said...

Ryan:

If the Libs had not done what they did in the 90s, there would almost certainly have been an IMF restructuring of our economy, and if you think our social programs and safety net were negatively impacted by what the Libs did then what the IMF would have done (and has done in all the economies they've restructured) really would have horrified you. Under the Libs programs were gutted but not simply cancelled, we still have Medicare for example, we still have things like disability and employment insurance, we still have many programs even if they are a shell of their former selves. With the IMF these programs would have simply been terminated in full. Me, I prefer what we got from the Libs than the IMF's idea of how economies should function.

I would also point out that Martin was finally as PM starting to put real money back into thee programs (ironically enough thanks to having to work with an NDP in the minority so as to govern, something Layton tossed away) when he was taken down. This is not to say that the Libs are anywhere near as concerned with these things as the NDP (or at least the pre-Layton NDP) would be but at least they are not inherently hostile to them as the CPC clearly is.

As for Layton's thinking, while he may be concerned about letting the Libs cut into the NDP seat numbers if they focus on the CPC first, it would be consistent with the principles of the party which is why that was done in the prior examples that you cited by the NDP leaders of the day putting principles before seat counts. That was btw part of what gave the idea that the NDP was a party of principles first credibility, they stuck up for their principles more than simply for getting as many seats as possible no matter what. This is what Layton has thrown away, and it has become increasingly obvious to the wider public, including I suspect the core NDP voting base that relied on the party being a principles first one. Ironically enough Layton may well be driving the NDP into a worse position/outcome than if he had done what his predecessors did and stuck to the principles first, because now he looks like a pandering power-hungry party leader out for himself first just like everyone else, and without that image of principles first the NDP risks losing more votes than if they fought by the Libs against the CPC. It also doesn't help that the NDP party structure looks to have signed off on this radical change without consultation with the voting base nor has a problem with it despite it being a sellout of the entire party history federally.

There is a reason why I differentiate sharply between the Layton NDP and the pre-Layton NDP, because they are fundamentally different in their approaches to politics. I respected the former NDP and even voted for them periodically, this NDP though is toxic to me and something I cannot support and find the hypocrisy and shortsightedness of extremely offensive as well as incredibly dangerous/risky for the future of a healthy and open/democratic Canada with a strong social conscience. Which is why I tend to have little time for NDPers that refuse to recognize just what kind of insane chances Layton is playing with not just the future of the NDP but of the country as well. If he were doing this with the old PCPC I would not be worried, but as I have said many times the Harper CPC is something far different and far more dangerous than the PCPC and that Liberal Tory same old story no longer applies in reality for that reason and that anyone that claims it still does is ignorant, brainwashed, or a liar more interested in partisan spinning than reality IMHO and therefore not worth taking seriously.

knb said...

Ryan, forget for a minute, Chretien and Martin.

In contemporary terms, where do you think Dion's values and your's diverge?

Scotian's take on the NDP is bang on. Most will say that Jack is a great leader. He's not. He's failed to recognise what the country needs, though he says otherwise. Who does that remind you of?

For the record, I've voted NDP many a time. Since Jack came on the scene, not once.

Ryan said...

Scotian: You have made your views clear before. You find Layton toxic, I don't. It's politics. It's the game. Layton thinks the NDP can become more than a third party and that's his goal. I'm not sure if I want to argue about that point further, because I'm quite sure that we won't agree. You think Chretien and Martin were the saviours of our social programs, fine. I see it differently. As far as the IMF goes, I'd like to hear your take on that, regardless.

There are few New Democrats that see the Liberals and Conservatives as the same. I'd argue that during the PC/Liberal days when Broadbent was saying that it was more or less true. Harper is a Neo-Con maniac and I know it. We all know it. Layton hasn't been arguing that. He's been arguing that essentially the Liberals suck and the NDP is a viable alternative. I can't tell you whether or not that is true, but that's his tactic. As I said, I don't hate the Liberals, I just prefer the NDP. Not like my vote matters, though. I live in Calgary so no need to worry, I won't "split the vote" as so many Liberals are worried about.

I may disagree with his tactics, but I still like Jack Layton. Bill Blaikie would have been my pick way back when, but that didn't happen. Layton's politics are my politics, so he's still my man. My question would be though, why blame Layton for destroying the country, when it is Harper? Why do people believe Layton about the Liberals.

You give the man far too much credit, and the Liberals none. This Harper victory is as much the fault of the policies and dealings of the Chretien/Martin leadership as it is Layton's. As I said, I didn't agree with taking down the government, but I also had a huge problem with Martin's Liberals, so you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Just like Dion with the throne speech. Is that suddenly okay, to allow Harper to stay in power, just because you don't think it's a good time for your party to have an election?

See? Politics. I don't think you can judge Layton any differently than any other politician.

Ryan said...

knb: I don't think Dion's the issue. I've said it before, the guy is a genuine progressive. Hell, Layton's echoed that sentiment before.

It's the party. How come the party won't rally around this progressive voice? Too progressive, maybe.

One example: I don't think Dion would have suggested massive corporate tax cuts on his own. I don't think he have accused Harper of not doing enough to lower corporate taxes. Our economy is booming (too booming in many areas, and indeed unsustainable, esp my home province) and corporations are already making a killing. Why would he do it? Either party pressure or pressure to raise money for said party from business.

That's why I wouldn't vote Liberal. Plain and simple. It's the policy I don't agree with. I don't think they are the devil incarnate like Harper. I just disagree on matters of policy.

Frankly, if New Democrats think Layton's a good leader, that's their business. Plenty of people don't think Dion's a good leader, but he's obviously well regarded by the party to be chosen. I respect that. I've gotta admit, Harper is the perfect leader for the Conservatives. He represents the thoroughly anti-Canadian message that they embrace.

Hell, he must be doing something right because instead of attacking Harper, we're all sitting here attacking eachother. Scotian seems to have as much disdain for Harper as he has for Layton, which I think is absolutely ridiculous. The NDP is the third party with 30 seats, and Layton can't possibly cause the damage that has been ascribed.

My attitude is: if you like what the Liberals are doing/what they have done in the last 15 years vote Liberal. If you don't, then don't. We'll just have to disagree on party loyalty, and agree that Harper is, simply put, a threat to Canada. I'm sure you both can agree (or disagree, hehe) to that much.

Scotian said...

Ryan:

You miss the bloody point yet again. Prior to Layton the primary focus of the NDP was advancing the principles the party stood for, period. It was not the primary focus of the party to gain seats at any cost. That has changed under Layton, and was changed without consultation within the party and has been accepted by many NDP partisans as fine while simultaneously trying to continue to claim the NDP is the party of principles first. You want to accept Layton's preference of seats first, that's fine, but then you have lost the right to declare the NDP is a principled party first, because the two are mutually exclusive. It is this trying to eat their cake and have it that really offends me about Layton supporters.

As to my defence of Martin/Chrétien, I should point out a few things to you, one of them being that I throughout the cutbacks period was in the lowest economic bracket with serious health issues and therefore relied (and still do I might add, under the American system I would have died years ago) extensively on the social safety net. Therefore it was in my interests to have it sustainable for the long term. The way the economics were going by the early 90s it was not sustainable and if the measures taken had not been taken it is entirely probable that by now things like my disability and Medicare would no longer be here for me to use. So that gets Martin and Chrétien some points with me. It is called being an informed responsible voter who pays as much attention to real world realities/facts as they do the principles and values they believe in.

As for whom I blame more for putting the country at risk, in case you are blind deaf dumb and stupid (which you would have to be to claim I see Layton as the greater threat to Harper as my record of writings shows clearly the opposite, although Layton is AIDING Harper in his goals makes him an accomplice to the greatest threat and therefore in terms of threat assessment right behind Harper so long as he follows this approach) I have *ALWAYS* stated that Harper and his Straussian Conservativism is the greatest threat of all and for you to try to claim I am arguing otherwise is dishonest and/or ill informed and therefore if the latter you making assumptions without sufficient evidence/facts to do so.

The problem with Layton though is that he is clearly more concerned with taking Liberal seats than he is in preventing Harper from holding power or worse getting a majority next time out. That makes him a de facto accomplice to Harper regardless of his motives and it shows him placing the Libs as the greater threat than Harper's CPC, which doesn't exactly show what you are arguing now does it? Actions speak louder than words, especially with politicians and political leaders, and Layton’s actions have been in this CPC Parliament to team up to beat up on the Libs wherever possible with the Harper CPC (Remember the accountability act which is anything but and the Rhona Ambrose clean air act bailout Layton gave Harper cover with that died when Parliament was prorogued that gave Harper another year to ignore the environemnt/climate change file?) so as to gain Lib votes and seats instead of focusing primarily on what is clearly the greater threat to NDP core values/principles, Harper's CPC.

If you are unable to understand this then it shows a rather poor understanding of politics. You also need to understand something about me, I am not a party partisan of any party, my overwhelming priority is the defeat of Harper and his kind of conservativism. Therefore, when I see a party that should be the most opposed to the Harper Conservativism according to the core values and principles of that party instead acting as de facto allies to gang up on the Libs instead well then I am not going to be terribly impressed, especially when it claims to be the only principled party going. Incidentally, you may or may not use the Liberal Tory same old story but Layton did in the last election and during the first year of Harper's government as have many senior members of his caucus as well as many online NDP partisans. Perhaps you should take it up with them before taking it up with me, hmmm?

Layton's NDP is selling out the principles and the rep of the NDP for placing the principles before electoral gains and you by your own admission are fine with that. I'll tell you though that part of the reason there has been a reliable strong core vote base for the NDP traditionally is because it was principled first and once those voters think the NDP has become just another seats before principles party (which you are fine with by your own words in this thread to me) will they stay or will they go to whomever they feel will best oppose what they see as the greatest threat to their core beliefs, Harper's CPC?

BTW, if Layton and the NDP were going to have a breakout moment and really surge the seat count it should have happened in the last election, yet all Layton got was ten more than he had in Martin's and far less ability to influence the minority government with those seats than he had with Martin's minority. So it should be apparent that Layton's strategy is not going to suddenly sweep the NDP into second place/Official Op status, yet instead it is still being pursued. What this says to me and to many others is that Layton is more interested in gaining the perks of power than he is in placing the defence of core NDP principles first, which as I pointed out is not the NDP party's traditional practice.

Layton is gambling your party's future here as well as that of the nation, and you seem fine with that. You may well come to have some bitter regrets down the road for this, don’t say then you weren’t warned about this, you were and you laughed it off. What your leader is doing gives Harper his best chance at a majority via votesplitting between NDP and Libs, this is obvious to all political analysts worth their salt, it is obvious to KNB/me/many others online and it is obvious to Harper and his man Flanagan as KNB has pointed out in the past, so why isn't it obvious to Layton and NDPers like you? So simply stating preference as you did at the end of your comment to KNB at 9:58pm is more than a little disingenuous if not outright dishonest.

Ryan said...

No, I don't think you get the "bloody point."

I don't agree with the Liberals policies, no matter how you explain them from the last decade and a half. It's a matter of interpretation, not fact. You say they had to cut health care, I beg to differ. It's convenient to say Martin was about to start injecting money back into those programs. Unfortunately it didn't happen and it's a pretty weak point. Chretien argued in his memoirs that under him Canada was on track to meet Kyoto. Woulda, coulda, shoulda, no way of proving it. I'm not going to get into an argument about policy or how liberal Canadians are, because that's a matter of interpretation.

We won't agree on that point, no matter what I say or what you say. We, of course, agree that the Liberals are preferable to the Conservatives. However, as far as policy goes, I also don't agree with where the Liberals have been going. Dion is good, but he is not the party. Now, if I figure that the party is the lesser of evils, rather than the LEAST of evils, as I view the NDP (note that it's my opinion, not a statement), why should I change my mind and only support the lesser of evils? I'm not going to vote for a party to maintain the status quo. I'm going to vote for the left-wing party that reflects my values.

Additionally, as I stated before, you blame Layton for a lot. Do you think voters are naive fools? Do you think that Layton is "tricking" people into voting NDP? I've said that I've disagreed with the incessant attacking of the Liberals, but you know what, I haven't disagreed with the criticisms themselves. He hasn't lied. Give me a single lie and we can take it from there, but as it stands, Layton's criticisms are either a matter of opinion or interpretation, or a statement of fact.

And please, don't lecture me on the grassroots of a party that I'm a member of. I pay my dues, I attend the meetings, I surf the blogs. Don't pretend that you speak for the members of my party and don't resort to calling me disingenuous when I'm relating nothing but my own opinion. That's nice code for "liar." It's the Liberals that can't agree on the support for their leader. You vote for your party and your vision of Canada, and I'll vote for mine, which happens to be NDP, not Liberal. Think you're going to bully me into admitting you're right just because I disagree with you?

knb said...

Ryan, with respect, Jack is nuzzling the small of Harper's back.

Your Party is using the same graphic for heaven's sake.

I respect your right to support the NDP, but Jack in my opinion made a big mistake last time around. He set things in motion to bring down the Lib's. I do blame him.

Was life perfect under Martin? I'd say no, he was a bit right for my taste, but they were a hell of a lot better than what we've seen from Harper.

Say what you will, Jack brought us here. I get that the Lib's are right of your thinking, but good gawd man, your party is not going to form the official opposition, in my lifetime anyway.

Jack is railing in a way that will only bring the con's back to a minority or perhaps a majority.

That's worth a few seats to you?

If so...I would ask what you truly stand for. It sounds to me that your Party wants power in the same way that you accuse all others of.

As I've said elsewhere, your Party deserves a voice and some of it I agree with. Jack is your problem. He's an opportunist and he's not helping the country at the moment, in my view.

It should be noted that the con's love him now. They of course hate all that he stands for, but they think it's great that he's attacking the Lib's.

The con's are rallying to Jack...doesn't that give you pause?

Gayle said...

ryan - I did not forget Linda Duncan. I live in Strathcona and voted for her last time.

I have long been an NDP supporter. That said, I recognize that the NDP will not form the government, and the only way they will ever form the official opposition is if there is a complete collapse of liberal support, which would mean a Harper majority, and I do not want that either.

That is why my money and my time will be dedicated to assisting Jim Wachowich, the liberal candidate in Edmonton Centre during the next election.

Frankly, after the last election when Layton got up and started agreeing with Harper on his measures to increase sentences/mandatory minimums I almost did not vote for Duncan (though I believe she is an excellent candidate). It was only because I believed her to be the best chance at beating Jaffer that I finally decided to vote for her.

In my opinion this country is best served by a liberal minority government with the NDP holding the balance of power - I just do not know how that would work now after all of Layton's personal attacks on Dion. It is readily apparent to me that Layton and Harper are together on this - and that cooperation will only help Harper get a majority. So, while I agree with you that it is the liberals' own fault they lost the election, I am sorry to say that Layton has done nothing to win back this NDP supporter since that time.