Jack Layton, PM?

Liberals plunge into scandal and infighting, Conservatives elect a right-wing idiot as a leader and, with no other choice, anyone with half a brain is forced to vote NDP. It worked for Bob Rae.


Marcus's picture
Marcus on February 14, 2004 - 23:21 Permalink

I don’t know if the NDP would ever want to win federally — they’re most effective when they’re the power broker in a minority situation.

As for Mr. Martin? The best thing that can happen to the Liberal Party of Canada is to go the way of the Liberal Party of the United Kingdom (and Ireland — at the time) back after the home rule debacle… Now the UK is home to 2 nice ideologically distinct political entities, Conservatives and Labour…. except that Tony Blair calls it “New” Labour… wait… oh, never mind… All power corrupts, yadda yadda yadda…

Marcus's picture
Marcus on February 15, 2004 - 00:43 Permalink

It would seem that both Layton & Harper are quick learners when it comes to Atlantic Canada.

Layton’s Toronto crowd hired Rick Smith of the IFAW as his chief of staff. Once we found out here in Atlantic Canada, knowing how Dr. Smith is so morally opposed to Atlantic Canada’s seal hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence & northeast coast of Newfoundland, well all of a sudden we went ballistic and poor councillor Jack is suddenly making amends by firing Ricky-boy & stating that he & the NDP support a “sustainable” seal hunt in Atlantic Canada. I can just imagine good Toronto-lefties choking when he said those words…

Now for straight-as-an-arrow Stephen Harper, it was a quick lesson for him after assuming the leadership of the Alliance party in 2002 when he claimed Atlantic Canada suffered from a “culture of defeat” due to the nature & style of federal funding in the region. What’s funny though is that in 2000, Reform/Alliance organizer John Mykytyshyn, was forced to resign over comments stating that Atlantic Canadians are lazy & survive on federal handouts. I guess Harper’s comments weren’t as harsh, but it seems that some of the party members from certain regions of Canada ideologically opposed to equalization programs & support for seasonal employees have had to do some fast learning down here as well.

Not that the NDP or the Conservatives are likely very concerned about getting the 36 seats in Atlantic Canada. Between Layton’s screwups with Rick Smith & Harper’s screwups (well… Manning’s screwups) with John Mykytyshyn & both leaders’ utter ignorance of all things east of the Ottawa River, Quebec & Atlantic Canada will be strung out to dry. Then the Paul Martin gravy train will come to town with Joe McGuire, Andy Scott, Geoff Regan, and John Eppard leading the trough feeding and we’ll all go through it again down here.

Is it just me or do all the politicians of this generation smell? I predict Martin has become to Chretien what Campbell was to Mulroney & Turner was to Trudeau… A political change is necessary & it’d be nice to see how a minority gov’t in Ottawa would handle things.

Ritchie Simpson's picture
Ritchie Simpson on February 15, 2004 - 15:42 Permalink

Its a peculiar conceit of the left in Canada that, when speaking of their political opponents they can hurl sophomoric insult instead of debate on the merits of respective political platforms; and in the next breath go apolectic with outrage at the most inocous slight (as long as its on the politically approved list of slights). You disappoint me Peter.
I think that most Canadians are capable of distinguishing between an idiot’s drivel and a reasonable political alternative for the country. Don’t get too excited when this is all said and done the Liberals will win again and the structure of the HoC will be much the same as it is now.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on February 15, 2004 - 18:19 Permalink

You appear to live in a world where politics actually means something serious, Ritchie: I don’t. For me, all politics is theatre, and I demand from it all that I would demand from good theatre.

Marcus's picture
Marcus on February 15, 2004 - 18:41 Permalink

Since Canada’s political landscape is so inept, I propose that we close the HoC & Senate, fire Adrienne & her staff.

Then because we colonials are incapable of electing proper & accountable citizens to serve in public office, we should revert to our historically chosen masters, namely the French, the British, and also the Americans, to implement a Commission of Government consisting of 7 persons appointed to oversee the affairs of state for a period of, oh… say 15 years, or until we get our arses in gear as a nation.

Those of you who understand history might be interested to see how this worked in Newfoundland. (The Commission of Government, 1934-1949)

Why would this work? Well, conservatives would be happy that we are kowtowing to our ultimate economic masters & the “old country(ies)”…. liberals would be happy because they wouldn’t get the blame for anything that could possibly go wrong, plus they could argue that the commissioners aren’t multiculturally representative of our pluralistically diversified and exemplified and enlightened Canadian social fabric…. and social-democrats would have a great target to complain about the commission being an afront to our sovereignty (as if we have any) and that the commissioners are really fronts for trans-national corporations looking to exploit our oil & gas to the Americans, water rights to the mid-latitude nations, etc. etc.

Wait a minute, there are only 7 or so members of the inner cabinet right now in Ottawa who already perform all these things without needing an entrenched oligarchy. The HoC members are mere puppets to the inner cabinet, the outer cabinet are similar tail-waggers… We already HAVE a commission government and we couldn’t get rid of it if we tried.

I seriously doubt that rural Canada will enable the NDP under Layton to come to power. Layton appears to wear the colours of populism loosely and it’s questionable as to whether he would be able to appeal to the true roots of populist socialists in the west. The only inroads the NDP has made since the days of Ed Broadbent has been in the cities, and it’s places like metro Halifax, Toronto & Vancouver where the NDP’s future lies. Come on — the NDP has all but abandoned rural Canada to appeal to the fashionably left fabric of our urban societies (which I detect on this blog) — they reject the social gospel upon which the CCF was formed, they reject a strong military to back their assertions of sovereignty, they’ve glommed onto issues of the day in their electoral hotspots (the cities) while ignoring real and pressing needs for policy changes in resource-dependent rural regions (aka the west & Atlantic Canada). In short, I don’t think Layton has much of a chance. He will most definitely not have a chance in PEI if he gets my old veep Leo Broderick (grumpy old man syndrome has hit him hard in retirement) in as a candidate.

dave m's picture
dave m on February 15, 2004 - 20:21 Permalink

If these comments are typical of the feeling of the typical voter, and i’m afraid they are, it’s no wonder the state of the country is as it is… and will remain as it is.

I can’t believe that people of our generation can still stand by and watch, like the apocryphal witnesses in New York thinking that some one else out there will take care of things— that some one else will care, see, and act on our behalf.

There is no one else. We are all alone.

Wry Observations, Glib Comments, and World-Weary Protestations will not save us… I’m tired of Government as Theatre and Politics as Sport. I’m tired of my own cynicism and the cynicism of the people around me.

We deserve whatever government we have… and we’ll earn whatever government we get.

Robert  Paterson's picture
Robert Paterson on February 15, 2004 - 22:56 Permalink

I wonder if there is something larger going on? All over the western world, we are seeing signs of rampant corruption at a level where criminal charges could be laid. Italy & France both have presidents that are in the thick of it. Many feel that Bush is a compulsive liar. The Liberals are so embedded in power as to have lost perspective of what is right. Officials such as those in Ontario Hydro cannot see why their spending may be wrong.

Beyond corruption and waste, our system does not help solve our most challenging issues. 40% of our kids do not graduate from high school. The costs of health care are beyond what our system can deal with. Trade barriers are going up all over the world. Locally on PEI, our economy is tipping and nothing that the government knows and does will help.

No one seem to be able to deal with the underlying issues that face us as citizens.

Is then contract between the governed and the governor reaching such a threadbare state that we could see in time a revolt? We pay taxes and we give up parts of our liberty in a contract that assumes that government exists to deal with social issues that are larger than the family and to defend our interests in the world. Neither parts of the contract are working.

Why should I pay taxes to a regime that has programs that do not help? Why should I pay taxes to a system that supports at best waste and ineffectiveness and at worst corruption?

I think that the issue extends way beyond party and leaders. I suspect that our entire system of government itself is under threat.

Ritchie Simpson's picture
Ritchie Simpson on February 16, 2004 - 01:17 Permalink

I fear Dave’s comment is right, we have dumbed ourselves down to a point where even cynicism has lost a sharp edge.

Susanne Shaw's picture
Susanne Shaw on February 20, 2004 - 06:00 Permalink

No, the average Canuck cannot be counted on to know what’s going on, never mind know enough to vote for their own best interests. I can’t believe how dumbed down Canadians have become! Yes, we CAN take back our own country, wresting it away from the Americans, but it will take tremendous unity and political will. Most Canucks, however, would rather complain than THINK. Their brains are too squeaky clean, well-laundered by the corporate-owned media. Canadians believe everything they see on TV. They shop at Wal-Mart, even though any idiot knows that the prices there are cheap because much of the products are virtually slave-made, offshore. Canadians buy stuff online, like Dell computers, never thinking that by doing so, they un-employ Canadians—maybe even, eventually, themselves. Canadians assume that Conservatives are different from the Liberals. They think the multi-nationals (Big Oil, mainly) don’t own these parties. So, 60% of Canucks plan to vote again for someone in the Conservative-Liberal-Alliance Parties (CLAP) and yet they still expect things will get better! No, we’ll just get more of the same — more “free” trade, more falling wages, more unemployment, more American war plans and corporate takeovers of our resources — and less medicare, less environmental, water and food protection and less access to decent education. Dumbing down of Canadians is certainly a fact. Unfortunately, those of us who vote smarter wind up suffering the same consequences as the braindead majority who habitually vote for the CLAP.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on February 20, 2004 - 16:21 Permalink

Thanks for your comments, Susanne. I’m curious if your suggestion that buying Canadian is better would hold if the “slave-made” working conditions in foreign countries were improved. In other words, is it the conditions themselves, or the mere fact of not buying things made in Canada that bothers you?

bladek's picture
bladek on April 1, 2004 - 07:56 Permalink

To Shaw: That’s a compelling argument. Well, not really. You fail to take in stride how great our media is. There are various options and the state funded CBC (hopefully being that you know something about politics, you’ll realize that the ‘state’ and the ‘office’ are not really the exact same thing). Wal-Mart? Huh? I doubt my video game engineered in the US and my coke bottled in ontario supports slave labour, and that their cheap costs are due to the fact that inventory and wholesalers go to THEM, not the other way around, which is traditional in retail. And finally, the pro NDP bout. Considering the recession, we’re not doing too bad. Education is still accessible, two tier medication is not the end of the world (unlike how the left would like to frame it), and Canadians are not being dumbed down, they just want to be a competitive nation. Your words are pretentious like anyone on the left, your words are cheap. Do not speak beyond your impounded capacity.