Thursday, September 17, 2009

Open letter to Jack Layton

[I post this letter here because I have learned through experience that Layton does not answer letter sent to his office so I have given up trying for a personal response]

Dear Mr. Layton;

For months now I have been defending the NDP while Liberal bloggers have subject it to constant excoriation. Many have said that once Jack Layton thought it was to his advantage to support Harper and his cronies his so-called principles against the Torys would suddenly evaporate. They said that your criticisms of the Liberals for supporting Harper were just empty political games because under pressure you would stand up with some lame excuse to support the Tory government. And though I have never been one of your most outspoken supporters, I foolishly rejected this contention. I assured people that though you are not politically perfect, you would never stoop so low as to keep the worst, most dangerous Prime Minister in Canadian history in office. Imagine my shock and disappointment when I learned that all your talk about Harper being untrustworthy was just political rhetoric? I was doubly shocked to see that you are willing to sell out the people of this country for bogus EI legislation that will do nothing for the vast majority of workers.

If you think average NDP supporters are going to see this as anything less than crass political opportunism you are surely wrong. And all of this begs the question, if you were going to be willing to support the Harper government on something as empty as this EI reform, why did you spend so long criticizing the Liberal Party for doing exactly what you are doing now? Is it just outrageous political incompetence that would drive you to such a public reversal? Are you just so surrounded by yes-men and fools that you can’t see what your actions really mean out here in the world to average people?

What you are doing now Mr. Layton is the very reason that democracy is in crisis. Politicians constantly say one thing and do another. They play political games with constant harsh rhetoric which is suddenly contradicted by their actions. You don’t have to ask yourself why voter turn-out is so low, you need only look in the mirror. People are turned off by this opportunism and hypocrisy.

It is very sad that we now have no real alternative to look to in Ottawa because you are all playing the same game.



Robert McClelland said...

So lets say we go to another election and Harper wins another minority. What then?

Kirbycairo said...

Well Mr. McClelland, then we will have even more incentive for real electoral reform won't we?

Blogging Horse said...

Michael Ignatieff is acting recklessly. Jack Layton is acting responsibly.

Ignatieff got a "Blue Ribbon" panel with Pierre Pollievre. Layton got $1 billion for the unemployed.

Liberals can pretend they want an election, but the truth is they are just playing reckless games. Ask Ignatieff's national election co-chair:

“We’re not having an election on EI … I don’t hear Canadians clamouring for an election on this issue.” – Senator David Smith, Toronto Star, 28 August 2009

Kirbycairo said...

Whatever rationalizations help you sleep Blogging Horse. But hypocrisy is hypocrisy no matter how you spin it and if you read my blog you will know that I refuse to spare hypocrites because of partisan bias.

Cliff said...

I think the 60,000 mostly older workers who will be able to keep the wolf from the door a little longer because of this extra billion dollars in EI funds will be able to live with you hurt feelings.

Robert McClelland said...

So in other words, you don't know. You simply want an election on the basis of an unsupported belief it will remove Harper from power.

Kirbycairo said...

Dear Cliff, first of all your statistic is totally bogus. Second of all, it is still spin because it is the same argument that Harper used to critisize Layton for not even reading the budget. Thirdly, I am sure that the nearly 40 million Canadians who stand to lose their very constitutional rights under Harper's leadership CAN"T life with your partisan hypocrisy.

Kirbycairo said...

No Robert, I don't know. I do know that Layton, nor his partisan cronies like you, didn't care about that when he voted against the budget. Secondly, I do know that there is never anything wrong with exercising our constitutional rights to voting. THirdly, anything that shows that our electoral system is broken and need change is a good thing.

Anyone who supported Layton's vote against the budget but supports this is a hypocrite plain and simple.

ADHR said...

Nonsense. You have a very limited definition of a hypocrite.

Voting down the budget, if all three parties had been on board, could have gotten us into a coalition. Voting down the ways-and-means would have triggered an election. So, in the two cases, the choice was not the same. Pretending otherwise is myopic.

I don't like the decision, as I think the NDP should've pushed for more. But, as Robert points out, the likeliest outcome of an election is pretty much what we've currently got. So, there's not a whole lot of bullets in the gun, particularly given that Ignatieff won't play coalition ball.

BTW: we're not getting electoral reform. Ever. I'm pretty much convinced at this point that no one has the stomach to actually make it happen.

Kirbycairo said...

LIsten ADHR, it is not myopic at all. THe reason that it is hypocritical is that Layton made voting against the budget a matter of principle, PRINCIPLE! The principle that the government could not be trusted, period. Outcomes are irrelevant here. Of course the outcomes would be different in each case. But Layton did not say, we are not voting for the budget because if it fails we don't mind the outcome. HE SAID IT WAS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE. Now he implicitly is saying the government CAN be trusted and even though the EI reform is a joke they are voting for it. This is exactly what is destroying democracy and causing people not to vote. We need politicians who who will either stand on the principle they claim to represent or they need to be honest. The only one that comes even close at the moment is Duceppe.

CanadianSense said...

I asked this several times and no one has given me any credible reason.

The NDP stand to lose the most when they ally themselves with the Liberals. If they prop up the Liberals they become redundent and strategic voting arguement to stop Harper is a salient point.
(Strategic voting does not work)

If the NDP are not prepared financially, nominations why return to the Polls because the Liberals and some pundits don't like the current government?

How do the NDP benefit from losing AB, QC ?

How do the NDP benefit from the Liberals gaining 10-30 seats?

The NDP should be trying to emulate the Doer/Dexter model of being pragmatic.

Let the Liberals vote against EVERY bill for the next six months while the party prepares for spring 2010 vote.

Expect those 10% from the NDP/Bloc against the Libs who denied improved EI, Home Reno to be sent before XMAS.

Rehabilitate the party image and follow the example of the Bloc and review each Bill before taking a position. (Reasonable)

Kirbycairo said...

Dear CanadianSense - Of course one could make an argument that it is 'reasonable' to read each bill and decide on one's stance in each case. But, first of all, this is not what Layton has said. He has said that he will support the Government until the EI reforms are past. This could mean quiet a number of distasteful votes depending on how the session goes. And even if this were Layton's position I think it would be problematic since the EI reform is nowhere near being a meaningful reform and does not match the NDP demands. Second of all, switching over to this so-called 'Doer-Dexter" strategy creates a serious legitimacy problem since for the past few years Layton has been telling us that any vote for Harper is problematic because he 'can't be trusted' under any circumstances. I think if the NDP had changed leadership then maybe they could make this transition but Layton's years of 'Holier than thou" attitude makes such a switch fundamentally difficult. Third of all, as much as I object to many Liberal policies (and Ignatieff in particular) I don't think there is any question that if the Liberals did get a minority government the NDP would benefit from this because they could get more agreements from the LPC than the CONs. Even if you hate the Liberals there are issues such as Women's issues, literacy issues, the court challenges program, etc where they are better than the Harper Tories. Plain and Simple.