Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Awww, Muffin...

Jack Layton wants to shit in Michael Ignatieff's shoes

According to NDP leader Jack Layton, there's a new coalition on Parliament Hill, and he doesn't like it.

"We have a new coalition now on Parliament Hill -- it's a coalition between Mr Harper and Mr Ignatieff," Layton complained.

"Mr Ignatieff has made his choice, he has decided not to support the coalition and the positive change that it would have brought," Layton complained. "He has formed a relationship with Mr. Harper and this could last for a very long time."

Layton's comments came shortly after Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff pledged "conditional" support for the budget.

However, Ignatieff is calling for the government to issue periodical reports on the progress of the budget's implementation.

"Each of these reports will be an opportunity to withdraw our confidence should the government fail Canadians," Ignatieff announced.

Which is actually an extremely novel idea for reform. If one treats any confidence vote as essentially a contract between the government and Parliament in which Parliament gives its approval for the government's fiscal agenda under the expectation that it be implimented, then such periodic reports give Parliament a valuable tool for actually enforcing that agreement.

This isn't merely something that should be applied to the current budget -- it should be applied to all future budgets in this country.

But Michael Ignatieff may want to be a good deal more careful about some other things. With Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe formally declaring the coalition to be dead today, Ignatieff won't have that stick to threaten Stephen Harper with any longer.

"We are putting this government on probation," Ignatieff said. "Should Mr. Harper fail to satisfy the expectations of Canadians, we will be ready to defeat him and lead in his place."

But having already disappointed his coalition partners, Ignatieff may not find them quite so obliging should he turn around and decide to defeat the government.

"This is the first really important decision in public life that Mr Ignatieff has had to make... and what he decided to do was to stick with [Stephane] Dion's unfortunate voting policy of propping up Mr Harper," Layton complained. "When the Liberals vote for Mr Harper, with or without a fig leaf of an amendment, they will be casting their 45th straight vote to keep Stephen Harper in office. You can't do that and pretend to be the alternative to Mr Harper."

But consisdering the attitude of most Canadians to the proposed coalition, Layton can't deny that Ignatieff has merely woken up to reality and decided to not hand the Conservative party a majority in the next election.

Other bloggers writing on this topic:

James Laxer - "Jack Layton is Now the Real Leader of the Opposition"

Pearce Richards - "Jack Layton: Do As I Say, Not As I Do"

Jason Clements - "What Happened to Democracy?"


  1. I'll say this... Up until right now I didn't want to see Ignatieff anywhere near parliament hill... But now I'm just not sure anymore.

    I don't see this as propping up the conservatives... I see this as finally listening to Canadians. For once in the last 4 years.

    As for Layton, I'm not surprised he tends to whine a lot especially for someone with so few seats.

  2. It'll be interesting to see a Liberal party that listens as opposing to try to just try to ram its viewpoint and its own political mythology into the minds of Canadians.

  3. I must say that I got swayed by what Duceppe said. I thought that Duceppe again stole the show!
    He was funny. ! Hilarious! A riot!.
    And what he said seemed as tho it could be quite true.
    I will never forget Mr. Ignatieff voting last year against a Bloc member's private bill to label GE products. So many Canadians worked for this for years.
    I have never had that good inner feeling I would like to have for a person with either Ignatieff or Layton.
    I thought the Coalition was our Obama. A pooling of good minds with a gleaning of Canadian proposals, projects and opinions to kick start a definite future for Canada.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Duceppe is only funny and a riot because you don't live in Quebec...
    He had a press conference last week with Pauline Marois (Quebec's official opposition leader) and he said that the issue of Quebec's sovereignty would return to the forefront of his agenda in Ottawa and that Marois would push really hard for another referendum in Quebec.

    For once I think Ignatieff did a good thing. Siding with Duceppe would be suicide not only for the Liberal's image but for the unity of this great land.

    And Patrick, you're right, it will be interesting to see a Liberal party with its ear to the ground for once!
    (previous comment removed due to typo)

  6. Heaven forbid that the Liberals listen to the will of the people and work together with the Conservatives to keep Parliament working and actually get on with the business of running the country, rather than trying to seize power for themselves through a coalition most Canadians didn't want.

    Really, what's so different between this minority and the Trudeau minority of 1972-1974, when the NDP supported the Trudeau government in exchange for acquiescing to some of its policy demands?

    Canadians elected a minority, and wanted the parties to work together. The compromise and give-and-take is exactly what Ignatieff and Harper should be doing, rather than trying to cripple their political opponents or take power by the back door.

  7. HA!!! Jack acts like he didn`t see this coming!! What a fuckhead! Just goes to show once again that he doesn`t listen to ANYTHING Canadians have to say, only what his ideology dictates. He believes that the opinions of the majority are legitimate ONLY if they jive with his opinion. He lives in a dream world, a world in which he is the one and only savior of the world, whether you like it or not!! I can`t help but think that there is inside him a little baby Stalin just yearning for a chance to flex his muscles!

  8. On another post at James Laxer's blog, Oemissions blamed Christmas for Canadians not supporting the coalition.

    I shit you not.


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