Dobbin continues to hijack "Canadian values" for the service of the far left
One of the things any observer can expect of Murray Dobbin is that he, like many other denizens of Canada's far left, will continually attempt to annex the concept of Canadian values to their own ends.
He'll forever pick and choose the data that supports his preconceptions, and forever reject any that doesn't support his view.
In the course of an interview with NDP leader Jack Layton, Dobbin makes the depth of this folly perfectly clear when he insists that the NDP ought to be winning majority governments based on the concept of Canadian values.
"I'm someone who is a bit obsessive about values polling, I look at all of them that I can find, and what strikes me is that if the seats in the House of Commons were assigned to parties based on how their policies lined up with Canadian-stated values, the NDP would have a majority," Dobbin begins. "Why do we have a Conservative government when Canadian values actually line up so well with the NDP's values and policies?"
Layton insists that the problem for the NDP is that the electoral system just isn't fair.
"The first reason is that we have an electoral system that permits massive distortions of the public views when it comes to the results, the seats, and therefore the governance," Layton answers. "We've had that for some considerable time, it's just particularly evident right now when you have a government that in two successive elections couldn't get less than 62 per cent of the public to vote against them. Yet they end up with 100 per cent of the power... 100 per cent of the executive power, and maybe something than just a little less than 100 per cent of the legislative power."
Unfortunately for Layton and Dobbin, electoral reform would absolutely not result in an NDP majority.
The NDP's support tends to waver back-and-forth between 15% and 20%. One would be hard-pressed to find an electoral system that could currently produce an NDP minority government, let alone a majority.
It's laughable for Dobbin to suggest that the NDP best reflect's Canada's values, particularly since Canadians themselves -- 80% to 85% of them -- clearly seem to disagree.
The idea seems to be that Dobbin knows the values of Canadians better than Canadians themselves. It's the typical kind of arrogance one expects from the architect of the foiled 2008 coalition attempt -- an architect that refuses to abandon his designs.
In the same sloppy and intellectually lazy manner of many supporters of electoral reform -- particularly proportional representation -- Layton insists that these reforms would fix problems that they simply wouldn't. Such as the appointment of the judiciary.
"They are transforming the judiciary with their appointments so they're rapidly increasing their power in the judicial arm of government as well," Layton says. "So that is why you need proportional representation and why we continue to fight for it and push for it."
The problem for Layton is that imlimenting proportional representation in Canada won't change problems with the way judges are appointed. Rather, changes to the way that judges are appointed -- perhaps requiring the Prime Minister to have his nominations confirmed by Parliament -- would accomplish that.
But Layton's outrage over the appointment of judges who don't share his political values is rather tired. The Liberals did the same for years. The NDP would certainly do the same should they ever manage to win government.
If anything, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's appointments are at least likely to be far less activist and politically invasive than previous appointees. For years, Liberal-appointed judges legislated from the bench. At least Conservative-appointed judges are more likely to respect the fact that laws are made by Parliament, not by the judiciary.
A great many Canadians would likely agree with this idea. Perhaps not Jack Layton.
"Number two, of course, you have the traditional governing parties that have alternated in and out, have had access to the support of the dominant forces in society," Layton continues. "In particular, the largest, most powerful corporate entities, the banks and the oil companies, who seem to be the one constant when it comes to those who benefit by government policies. As the government alternates back and forth between red and blue they are tied to this notion that tax cuts and a shrinking capacity to do things together through our collective enterprises and public services is fundamental."
Likewise, a great many Canadians recognize that large corporations provide a great proporotion of Canada's employment, and that banks help provide a lot of the capital that is necessary to grow the economy.
A great many Canadians recognize that while there should be limits on how much support the government lends to corporations -- the line should be drawn at outright continuing corporate welfare -- what is good for corporations is often good for the economy. What is good for the economy is good for Canadians.
(Not that everything that is good for corporations is good for the economy. The dire under-regulation of the American economy was good for corporations, but bad for the economy. But these conditions aren't present in Canada.)
These are values held by many Canadians that just don't seem to mesh with Dobbin's ideological conception of Canadian values.
Then again, Dobbin continues to refuse to recognize that Canadians rejected the Liberal/NDP/Bloc Quebecois coalition that he himself pushed hard for in the wake of the general election.
Murray Dobbin never learns. It makes one wonder if he even can learn.
Canadians clearly do not share his far left ideological conception of Canadian values. But Dobbin himself will never admit it -- not even to himself.