Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Layton: Pay Attention To Me, Damn It!

True virtue is silent.

Anyone who has to keep reminding you that he pays his bills on time is probably dodging creditors all over the place. (A lesson learned from reading credit reports in my previous working life.)

Likewise, anyone who has to keep reminding you that he's relevant is almost certainly well past it:

NDP Leader Jack Layton, anxious to avoid being sidelined in this political contest, has scolded Paul Martin for "arrogantly" suggesting the election is a race only between Conservatives and Liberals.

But while painting his party as a serious contender, Layton found himself pressed yesterday on what issues the NDP will demand action on in return for its support if it holds the balance of power in another minority Parliament.

Layton, 55, tried to dismiss the questions as "hypothetical imagining" and insisted he's focused on trying to boost his caucus beyond the 18 MPs he had going into the vote.

But he conceded that his campaign themes of long-term care, post-secondary education, stemming health-care privatization and a federal strategy to help the auto sector would all be on his list of demands.

A supposed contender for government doesn't start off campaigning by making demands in exchange for propping up a minority government; that's an oblique admission that the party isn't a contender for anything except holding the balance of power.

Nor does it do anything to help the NDP win seats because soft NDP voters who might otherwise back them will think that the NDP's goal is to create another unstable minority government. These voters curl up in a foetal position weeping hysterically at the thought of a Tory government, and will vote Liberal if they think they can put off the nightmare by electing a majority.

Act like a contender for government, even if you know you haven't got a snowball's chance. People vote for the appearance of power. And the NDP will get more seats and real influence, instead of being in the Liberal pocket.

Source: Toronto Star


Myrddin Wyllt said...

Jack Layton has had by my count three different occasions where he could have placed the NDP as the new party of the left.
Each time he gets the chance to jump into the limelight Jack endorses his opponents the Liberals and sidels back to the sidelines.
Poor Jack, he still has not figured out who his real enemy is so he continues to attack Harper.
No Conservative would ever vote NDP even with a gun to their head, so attacking Harper gains Jack nothing.
The NDP will remain irrelevent until they figure out that they must steal seats from the Liberals, not help the Liberals steal seats from the NDP.

Mark said...

Exactly, myrddin.

Layton needs to focus his guns on the Libs.

Anonymous said...

Jack is actually doing just that. Have anyone seen his commercials? He attacks the Liberals, not the Conservatives.

Besides, he should actually talk more about what he would do then attack anyone at all.

Sadly, most people vote Liberal to escape Conservative...

If I could vote, I would definetely vote NDP. I'm not Canadian so I can't vote. And I can't openly talk about it unless anonymously, because I have a wife and a kid here, and I need to go through immigration. If I speak openly, I'm afraid the Liberals can kick me out for it...