Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thanks a lot, Jack. . . .

Maybe I'm being way too hard on Jack Layton. In my Chronicles column today, I write that most Canadians didn't even want this election, and thanks to Jack’s hubris, we appear to be about to lose the most progressive Parliament since the days of Lester Pearson, quite possibly getting instead the most right-wing government in Canadian history.

But if you think I'm being too hard, you should read what the Winnipeg Free Press columnist Frances Russell has to say: “After surfing all summer on writing Canada's first social democratic budget and boasting of better to come in the fall, Layton abruptly pulled the plug on the government for reasons he never explained to Canadians," Russell writes. "The NDP will soon be back in its usual place, carping ineffectually from the sidelines. Except, that is, for one very large loose end. The RCMP income trust investigation, requested by the party's finance critic, turned the campaign on a dime.

“New Democrats, and particularly, Winnipeg North MP Judy Wasylecia-Leis, must be praying that the Mounties come up with some proof of a leak. Failure to do so can only mean one thing: a democratic government has been toppled, in large part, by a specious politically inspired police investigation. As one observer puts it: `Do not underestimate the seismic magnitude of this investigation's outcome. This sort of thing is what distinguishes a G8 country from a banana republic.’"

Meanwhile, the University of Toronto’s John Crispo, in today’s Globe and Mail, similarly blasts Layton for his “ego trip,” and “the net result of all these political machinations is that there is no realistic political alternative on the left or social democratic side. This is appalling.”

Too harsh?


Blogger Dirk Buchholz said...

I would think you are being to harsh.I believe there has to be more attention payed to principles.
Canadians were very critical of the Liberals due to the corruption around ad-scam.
The NDP did the right thing,how could they in all honesty work with a government that they themselves called corrupt.
Principles are the most important part of any political party.This is what differantiates the NDP from the two other parties.Both parties of opportunism,both part of the reason so many Canadians view politics with apathy and cynsm.
I am convinced the NDP will be rewarded for their principled politics.
The only thing keeping the NDP from gaining more seats is the apathy and cynism.40% of voters do not even bother to vote,if somehow the NDP can access or break this apathy they will do much better.In the mean time they must hold the course,,and not take shortcuts to gain a few seats.
I agree thge slow progress can be very fustrating,but it will pay-off.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Even though I'm generally on the left side of the political spectrum, I'd personally rather see a tory minority than another liberal government. Despite the liberals being more 'progressive' they need time out from power.... honestly, they've done more for Quebec separation than the Bloc has, are knee deep in corruption allegations, and have run such a stupid campaign, that it's time for a change in government. If Jack (and the other parties) hadn't brought down the government we still would've been in an election a few months later... would that really have changed things that much? I seriously doubt it.

6:35 PM  

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