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Monday, June 21, 2010

Jack Layton takes aim on a fall election

One day we read that Jack Layton is boasting about the New Democrats being the party that knows how to make parliament work. His, he has claimed, is a party that can work with other parties to give Canadians legislation their need. Then his NDP party will suddenly hit a stretch where their cooperation ceases and they refuse to compromise on legislation, even that which the other three parties with diverse interests have agreed upon.

Last week, the New Democrats pulled out of an agreement on parliamentary access to Afghan detainee documents. As reported by Canada.com website:

“The NDP pulled out shortly before all-party negotiations ended with an agreement reached by the Conservative government, opposition Liberals and Bloc Quebecois on details of a process to grant MPs—aided by a panel of jurists—a chance to read thousands of documents and passages from detainee-related documents that now are censored from the public on the grounds of national security.”

House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken, the man the NDP so highly praised for his judgment the other day, has ruled that he is satisfied the deal, but it’s not good enough for the socialists. Imagine that.

Today I read that Layton’s Dippers are preparing for a fall election. Apparently, Layton does not plan to even consider a Conservative agenda for the fall sitting. So much for wanting to make parliament work.

Layton seems to be pinning his party’s hopes of knocking off the Liberals on an Angus Reid poll from March, 2010 that showed that he had a 32 per cent approval rating compared to 29 per cent for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and 16 per cent for the hapless Michael Ignatieff.

Back in the days of Ed Broadbent’s leadership of the NDP, several polls showed that Broadbent was the most popular party leader. Some pundits felt that the NDP could overtake John Turner’s Liberals as the official opposition to the Progressive Conservatives.

Never happened, of course: Broadbent could not translate his lead in the polls into a victory in a general election. The best the Dippers could do was win 43 seats in the 1988 federal election, then fade back into irrelevance.

I’d be surprised if the NDP returns as many members to the House in a fall election as the have now.

I’d not bet against a fall election being held, however. And it might be a case of Layton regretting what he wished for.

 

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© 2010 Russell G. Campbell
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5 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. Was this plan for a fall election before or after the Libby flame out. Has he noticed the protest at her riding office.

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  2. Libby is also sort of in trouble "by association", as the Downtown Lower Eastside Association she created (but no longer has an official role) is in dudu for misappropriating funds.

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  3. My prediction at the start of the year was no election in 2010, and I stand by that forecast.

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  4. Take note Liberals, this obtuse, bloody mindedness is exactly why the NDP are not serious contenders as potential partners in a coalition. They will disappoint you at every turn. But what the hey, I wish you good luck and hope you are successful in wooing this unreliable, diletante as your dance partner. Cheers. FernStAlbert

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  5. I think a fall election was always in the books. Once those 75 honourable members, from all parties, pass their pension date on June 28, all bets are off.

    A big gun, loaded with taxpayers money and pointed right at a person, has a way to focus the mind. Now that the money is in pocket, look for these greedy bastards to decide now they can have an election.

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