His guarantee came after Conservative Leader Stephen Harper said he would discuss toppling the government only upon receiving an iron-clad commitment from Layton.
The NDP leader could hardly have been more adamant. In fact he sounded even more gung-ho than Harper about defeating the Liberals.
"We are very clear," Layton told reporters in Vancouver.
"If there's non-confidence motions before the House (of Commons) we'll be voting against confidence.
"We don't believe the government deserves our confidence any longer."
Layton went a step farther than Harper, stating that he would also vote against the Liberals' supplementary budget estimates Dec. 8 or any other confidence matter.
Not even Harper went that far. The Tory leader said he has not decided whether to support the Liberals in the vote on $13.5 billion in government spending.
In hindsight, waiting for Layton to come on side publicly may have been a smarter move than we gave Harper credit for.
With this unequivocal declaration of intent to vote down the government on any confidence matter, Layton now can't crawl back and do any deal with the Liberals without looking like a complete fool and a sellout to everyone. And even if he wanted to, he's lost all his leverage.
Moreover, he's now put himself and the NDP on the line as the most stubborn of reactionary defenders of the public health care monopoly, by rejecting the Liberals' deal. The NDP already had the support of the fanatical monopoly defenders, but it will gain no further support from anyone who's seen a friend or family member suffer or die needlessly because they had no alternative but to wait in line for the public system to get around to them.
And the Tories now regain control of the lifespan of this minority Parliament, as rightfully they should as the official opposition. Harper's suggestion that the Tories might vote in favour of the budget estimates underscores that fact.
But unlike with Jack Layton, Stephen Harper will not be making any deals.
The days of Jackmail are over.
And so soon will the government's.
Source: Canadian Press