Monday, October 13, 2008

Does Jack Really Want Change?

Let's be serious for a moment shall we? This morning I heard Jack say he is still applying for the job of Prime Minister. I suppose somewhere there are some who will justify him repeating that statement, but is Jack being fair to those who might support him? Is he being honest about what he is offering Canadians? I'm not suggesting that he is lying, but I am saying that he is not giving people the facts as to what kind of change they might affect tomorrow.

Jack will not be PM and in fact if the polls are to be believed, he won't be leader of the official opposition either. So what exactly is it that Jack and his supporters want at this moment in time? Going along the path they are on, I suppose it's possible that they could pick up a couple of seats, but in the end, how will that fundamentally change the course of this country? It won't.

That's not change.

There is a way though that the NDP could be the most important players in this election and really change it's direction. Not only could they make a difference in reducing Harper's minority, they along with the Liberals, could get Harper out of Ottawa for good! Isn't that really what all progressives want?

If Harper were to go down to defeat to a Liberal minority, he won't be around for another election. That means the ideology that he has been force feeding this country would go with him, as there is no one strong enough in his party who shares that ideology able to keep it alive in the way that Harper can and will, even with a reduced minority.

If NDP supporters, Jack Layton and people just toying with the idea of voting NDP are serious about changing the direction of this country, if they are serious about wanting to re-instate a progressive agenda, if they are serious about child care, the environment, the Kelowna Accord and fighting poverty, then they will consider moving for the moment to send Harper back to Calgary for good.

Many will say they have heard this plea before, but it's not the same this time. We have now seen the damage that Harper can do, first hand. This is not a hypothetical situation as it was in the past, this is real. Harper's platform promises to continue exactly what he has been doing and we all know that is leading the country backwards and in many ways, not the least of which includes the environment, that is dangerous.

I'm under no illusion. I understand that many in the NDP are perhaps more unhappy with the Liberals than the Conservatives for various reasons, but I am appealing to your values. There is so much that we share in terms of a vision for this country and we have in front of us, right now, a way to achieve that. Some of our methods may be different, but surely you have to agree that we are more able to move forward together than we are by pitting ourselves against each other.

You have a choice and I know it's a tough one having worked so hard only to think about a different kind of vote, but this decision is too important to close your eyes to. If you honestly believe what you have said about Harper and what you want for this country, now is your chance to keep him out of power for good and begin the work of achieving your goals.

Let's join together where it makes sense and defeat enough Conservative candidates to put a Liberal minority in place and then, and only then, can we have substantive discussions about the best way to move the country forward without the extreme right blocking our progress.

Update - Check here for one scenario of how the NDP can still pick up seats and send Harper to Calgary.

23 comments:

RuralSandi said...

We are in tough times - and everyone with troubles are looking for a rainbow...Layton has promised every thing their little hearts desire but it is impossible for him to do it.

He's more socialist than other socialist countries - Sweden, Denmark, for example, give corporate tax breaks and are quite successful at the carbon tax method.

Gary Doer - not nearly as left as Layton - gives corporate tax breaks.

These are the little facts the Layton has left out and the media haven't even bothered to question him on this.

No kids, Layton cannot bring you that magic rainbow. It's time to think it through.

Anonymous said...

What progressive agenda did the liberals have for 13 years? Downloading? Corporate tax cuts? No real fix to health care? No real movement on First Nations problems? Huge immigration backlog? No national childcare for 13 yrs? No pharmacare for 13yrs?

There is a reason that the NDP core vote is growing. There is no erosion this election and the reason is that more and more progressive voters don't believe Liberal Party lies anymore.

At least Dion admitted BEFORE the election that he will throw childcare and pharmacare under the bus YET AGAIN preferring to give $50 billion in untargetted corporate tax cuts. I will give him half a star for honesty but he and the Liberal Party won't get my vote or the vote of millions of Canadians.

Anonymous said...

anonymous at 3:50 pm:

Would you rather part of your values fulfilled or none? If you vote NDP I can guarantee that none of your "Kitchen Table" issues will be addressed.

knb said...

anon @ 3:50. I'm talking about looking forward, not back. Trust me, there is plenty that could be said about Layton's behaviour in the past.

Dion is throwing nothing under the bus. He is recognising that the economy and what Harper might leave us will delay some immediate implementation, but he has vowed to tackle his platform within a 4 year mandate.

Voting with Jack ='s none of your issues being addressed.

Which would you prefer?

Scotian said...

KNB:

Nice sentiments, but as your anonymous dipper commentator in this thread shows this is not how the partisan dipper mind works. They see only themselves as "true" progressives (this despite Canada being a progressive country pre-Harper because of Liberal governments) and everyone else as no different from each other (Liberal Tory same old story) despite the realities you accurately describe. This is all about their hurt feelings at always being the also rans in third place no matter how hard they try, about how the Libs have a record of governing despite not being as far to the left ass the NDP and how even with all the scandals attached to them in the last election cycle the Libs still formed the Official Opposition with over three times the seats the NDP got. This is about how the NDP mindset believes they can never become a governing party without killing off the Liberals first and that this is more important than anything else, including stopping Harper from governing.

There is a reason why I have become contemptuous of so many Dippers over the past three years, they are as bad as their ideological counterparts in Harper's CPC, they can only see with their respective coloured glasses on and reality is irrelevant.

Take for example the recent "outrage" from Dippers about how Dion was unwilling to consider a coalition with the NDP. Did they for one moment consider why Dion might be less than willing to go along with this? That the war Layton has waged alongside Harper for the past three years to break and destroy the Liberal party might have left Liberal leadership unwilling to trust Layton? No, of course they didn't, it is always the fault of the other guy (just like Harper in that respect, never their fault always everyone else's) and that is it.

Then there is the complaint about how the resent being told they should side with the Libs, despite the fact the Libs always poll many points higher, have a broader range of trust nationally and are regarded by the VOTERS as the alternative governing party (which again hurts Dipper feelings yet is reality). Does it make more sense to align the larger to side with the smaller when trying to oust another party or does it make more sense to align the smaller with the larger, again it is a matter of basic realities and not merely ideological/partisan preferences that means more often the Dippers have to side with the Libs in ridings to stop a CPC win up the middle than the other way around (although I am all for it myself, I can live with the NDP contenders getting Lib support in the ridings where it works out that way, especially in the West, but in Ontario for example it is far more the Libs that are the second placer and not the Dippers which is where the Dippers should go to the Libs if they really want Harper gone more than anything else). Reality is what it is, and the NDP inability to face and cope with that reality is one of the things Harper is relying on, sadly with more than a little success it seems.

There is a reason I am so pissed with Dippers these days KNB, it is because they have placed their issues with the Libs whatever they are ahead of stopping Harper. Indeed, more than a few Dippers claim there is no real difference between the Libs and Harper's CPC, something which is clearly and utterly nonsensical, just compare how Martin governed his minority to Harper's to show how utterly bogus that claim is. You know as well as I that Harper is an anti-Canadian ideologue whose views are rooted in the same political theory as that subscribed to by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Krystal and company in the US, a political theory which is radical in the American context (which is a far more rightward/conservative context than ours to begin with) let alone ours. This is well on the record, but do these Dippers seem to understand this? Nope, it is hate the Libs first instead.

It never ceases to amaze me how Dippers fail to understand that the reason Canada is a progressive country is because the Libs governed most of its history. That the reason the Libs has stayed a powerful brand name despite everything the CPC and NDP have smeared them with is because of that record, along with a record of good government and pragmatic government. That the Libs for all their faults, for all their issues are still a far more Canada friendly party than Harper's CPC, and that under a Lib government the NDP has a chance at getting things they want, under Harper they have no chance at all with the possible exception of the destruction of the Liberal party since on that they clearly both agree. How progressive is that, eliminating voter choice because it gets in your way?

Ah well, I think I am going to just pray that the undecideds break hard to stop Harper, that is the only hope left now that the NDP have placed a handful more seats before the good of the nation for the second election in a row. For them Harper is not the primary enemy, the Libs are, which shows that for all their pious mouthings about principles it is a lust for power that rules them first, exactly the same as they claim is true of the Libs and CPC. The NDP, the party whose ideology and positions consist primarily of eating your cake and having it too. Which of course in the real world doesn't work, like so many of their economic theories and claims, which is of course why they just aren't trusted to govern but even to be the Official Opposition by the voters throughout the history of the federal NDP. Canadians tend to distrust ideologues, which applies to the left as much as the right, a lesson Harper finally learned which is why he cloaks himself as a centrist/mainstream choice and stopped running on his core beliefs since 2004 (not that he stopped believing that ideology though as proven by his choices in government).

I'm sorry KNB, but, my patience with those that claim to be principled progressives that refuse to see and place Harper as the threat he is to all of us and the nation as a whole is gone. Dippers that cannot understand that this Harper CPC is something so alien and so hostile to our fundamental way of life that it must be stopped at all costs are doing exactly what Harper expects and has encouraged, and for me that is unforgivable. Once Harper is removed along with his ideology if the Dippers want to go back to trashing the Libs at every turn I'd be fine with that, but to do anything that helps Harper gain and hold power is for me a complete betrayal of those progressive principles they claim to stand for. That kind of enabling cannot be excused nor can it be forgiven in my books. Especially from those that claim to be all about progressive principles first, for me actions have always spoken louder than words, and the actions of the Dippers have spoken quite loudly indeed about where their true priorities are for all of their mouthings to claim they are the only "real/true" opposition to Harper.

ottlib said...

Trying to appeal to NDP partisans is a useless exercise and it is equally useless to argue with them.

Like alot of partisans from all parties their loyalty is to their party first and Canada second.

Mr. Layton has obviously placed his own ambitions above that of Canada so why should his supporters not follow suit?

And before the Dipper supporters accuse me of hypocracy I would point out that with perhaps the exception of Ms. May none of the leaders have always taken the high road in this election when it comes to putting the needs of the country above their own personal ambitions.

So Dipper supporters save me the self-righteous, sanctimoneous bullshit about the Liberals. Their hands may not be clean but neither are yours.

What is working against the Liberals is the low desire for change amongst Canadians in general. I believe we will see a switch of support from the NDP and the Greens to the Liberals tomorrow as many voters will decide to vote for the parties in the best position to guide us through the current economic troubles. Unfortunately, we will not see the shift necessary to put them over the top as, like I said, there is no strong desire for a change in government.

burlivespipe said...

Love that NdP mantra '13 years', was it an Australian line?
Look, we've not waved in their faces the fact that they supported the internment of Japanese-Canadians during WWII... and some of their other beliefs over the past 70 years.
If they want to deny the fact that it was a Liberal government that brought public/universal health care, had an agreement with all provinces regarding both national childcare and a First Nations poverty action plan. Hey, I don't begrudge them joining the race to covet power, because as us Liberals know, power is good. You can do a lot of good with power - and sometimes a lot of bad, too. No one's perfect and most Liberal supporters would have seen quicker action on some of those fronts that the NdPers berate us on. However, I'm having trouble seeing how they could have dealt with the federal debt question at a time of recession recovery, that wouldn't have driven jobs out of the country. Chretien/Martin's action plan on the deficit achieved its goal, now we can move on. Don't the NdPers want that?

Anonymous said...

Wednesday morning Dion will be back in the land of fairies, lollipops and unicorns, staring out the window with a blank look on his face while mumbling something that only he can hear.

ottlib said...

"Hey, I don't begrudge them joining the race to covet power, because as us Liberals know, power is good."

But Burl, Dippers do not admit that they are coveting power for the sake of power itself. That is something that only the Liberals and Conservative do according to them. They are too "principled" for that.

It is the heart of Mr. Layton's hypocracy.

Unfortunately, they have failed to realize that you cannot win power in this country by just running a good election campaign and trashing the one party that is in their way in between elections.

The NDP policy platform for this election just demonstrated, yet again, that they have not really tried to appeal to the broader Canadian electorate. Something they have not done since their inception.

And that is what really bothers me about the NDP. They refuse to change their political philosophy and policies to appeal to the broader Canadians electorate. Inevitably this leads to their relegation to third or fourth party status. However, instead of doing the real soul searching necessary to address that situation they immediately leap on the idea of blaming the Liberals.

Until the NDP actually begins to look for the root cause of their perennial also-ran status to the Liberals they will continue to be so and no amount of trashing the Liberal Party will change that.

As well, with the rise of the Greens the NDP has put themselves on course to irrelevency. It will not happen this election but we could see them advance well down that path by the next election.

Anonymous said...

As per usual at this time in an election, the Big Red Liberal Machine makes a final-ditch effort to vacuum up all the votes from the other Left parties by saying the Liberals are the only viable solution and votes for any other parties are "wasted".

One can only say Don't Be Fooled. Each party has fought a good campaign and each party deserves the right to their own votes. Don't forget each vote represents about $2.00 per year in party funding so the stakes are high. The NDP has spent a lot of money on this campaign and deserves to be rewarded.

We know the Liberal Party is in desperate need of funds and this last minute vote grab is one way of fund-raising. I heard Scott Reid on the tube today telling NDP and Greens to forget their parties and vote Red. Gosh, here is this blog telling them the same thing. Don't fall for it. Your own party needs the funding. Ignore this shop-worn Liberal tactic.

Steve V said...

Since when is 19th century socialism "progressive". Too funny.

sharonapple88 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sharonapple88 said...

Don't forget each vote represents about $2.00 per year in party funding so the stakes are high.

It's not $2.00. Parties get $1.75 for a vote. And it's broken down to quarterly payments of $0.4375.

If finances are of an overwhelming concern to you, you could write a yearly check out for an amount greater than that. Better yet, you can get quite a bit of it back as a tax credit. Surely most people can do better than $1.75.

The NDP has spent a lot of money on this campaign and deserves to be rewarded.

This makes as much sense as buying Coke simply because they have ads everywhere.

We know the Liberal Party is in desperate need of funds and this last minute vote grab is one way of fund-raising. I heard Scott Reid on the tube today telling NDP and Greens to forget their parties and vote Red. Gosh, here is this blog telling them the same thing. Don't fall for it. Your own party needs the funding. Ignore this shop-worn Liberal tactic.

There's the possibility of outing Conservative candidates in closely held ridings. Check out vote for the environment. Isn't that more important than the $1.75 a party will get for a vote.

Look, how about arranging some vote trading. If some people are in riding where the Conservatives can't win are willing to trade with NDPers or Liberals, why not switch. The party will end up the the $1.75. Harper's out. Everyone's happy. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

If finances are of an overwhelming concern to you, you could write a yearly check out for an amount greater than that. Better yet, you can get quite a bit of it back as a tax credit. Surely most people can do better than $1.75.

This doesn't take the complexity of the matter into account. There is more at stake than just the $1.75 lost revenue. There is additional funding available depending on the percent of the vote garnered by a party:

If a party has received more than 2% of the national vote or 5% in the ridings it contested, then it may qualify for a payment equal to 60% of its election expenses

There's the possibility of outing Conservative candidates in closely held ridings. Check out vote for the environment.

Is that the website that was outed on the Duffy show today by the Green Party? He said there was a vote sharing website run by the Liberal Party. Too funny.

knb said...

Scotian, I feel what you are saying and know that in large measure what we have heard and read would back all that you have said.

My sincere hope is that the less ideological in the party take the time before they mark their X to realise what they are actually setting this country up for.

We may not hear from too many of them, here or elsewhere on the web, but in my neck of the woods, they do exist.

You mentioned Ed Broadbent the other day. Having watched him with Jack for a couple of days, I was shocked to see how bitter he is. He spewed more vitriol than Layton himself. Even Alexa has shocked me with some of her language.

That said, the choice this time around should not be based on how much you wish your party could be in a different place, it must be based on how much you know you can affect real change in the country through your vote.

Real progressives will make the right choice.

knb said...

ottlib What is working against the Liberals is the low desire for change amongst Canadians in general.

I think the desire for change has been tamped down by the fear and falsehoods put out by Harper and gang.

Perhaps after a calm long weekend people won't have been listening to the lies and they can actually make an informed decision.

I'll remain an optimist as I've never seen much future in not doing so.

knb said...

burlivespipe, Don't the NdPers want that?

For some it seems to depend on whether you believe what they say, or they say what they believe.

knb said...

anon @ 6:28. Who was it that said "lend us your vote" during the last election?

Oh right, that was Jack.

We all know where that got us.

I don't want to see that happen again. Surely you haven't been happy with him in power?

Why would you want him back?

knb said...

Steve, that many NDP supporters don't understand that is tragic really.

knb said...

sharonapple88, I added that link to my post earlier and really think it's a logical way for the NDP to gain seats in some cases and maintain the funding they want.

knb said...

anon @ 9:25.

Sorry, but anyone who takes the word or distortion of Duffy really lacks in credibility.

The site is not run by Liberals, but rather a small group of progressives from ALL progressive parties, including the NDP.

Alice Klein ring a bell? If not, you're not an NDP'er.

sharonapple88 said...

If a party has received more than 2% of the national vote or 5% in the ridings it contested, then it may qualify for a payment equal to 60% of its election expenses

Do you really think the NDP's going to get less than 2% of the national vote? I have more faith that the NDP than you do.

But this still leaves the issue of vote swaping. I'll swap with you. To me, getting the Conservatives out of power trumps party loyalty (country above party).

Is that the website that was outed on the Duffy show today by the Green Party? He said there was a vote sharing website run by the Liberal Party. Too funny.

The Greens have been running e-mails that it's NDP and Liberal site.

Alice Klein, one of the people running backs the NDP and has a Jack Layton sign on her front lawn.

Kevin Grandia worked for the Liberal party.

The funny thing is that although both of them never broadcasted their party affiliation, they never hid their identities, it's there on the site. If it was a secret, it was an open one.

RuralSandi said...

The NDP'rs just don't get it - attack big corp and strong union influence and companies will leave Canada in droves and won't invest in Canada and job losses will be massive.

That's the way it is.

Part of the economic problems are the huge demand by unions....they don't know when to stop and be reasonable and there is still some crime element there - and that's a fact.

So enough with the BS. I saw a speech a couple of weeks ago and the wording was almost exactly the same as Layton's. It was David Lewis, leader of the NDP in "l972" - they have changed and offer nothing new in their platform.

Layton copying Obama LOL - Obama is fighting for what we already have in Canada.

Layton - you ain't no Tommy Douglas and you ain't no Obama. Give Jack a mirror, he'll be happy then.