Layton reacts to Ignatieff's shots about him

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ottawaobserver
Layton reacts to Ignatieff's shots about him

Well, well, well.  This is interesting.  Just arrived in my inbox, titled "This is Canadian Leadership".

Jack Layton wrote:

My Friend -

For the third time in a month, Michael Ignatieff has taken a shot at my leadership.

Last week in a Liberal video he knocked my many years of service to the Canadian people.

While Michael Ignatieff spent 34 years outside of our country, I was rolling up my sleeves as a city councillor to get things done for people - building green initiatives in Toronto, overseeing one of Canada's largest public hydro companies, presiding over the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

I'm incredibly proud of this record. I don't know why Mr. Ignatieff expects me to hide from it.

While Michael Ignatieff was writing papers at Harvard supporting George Bush's invasion of Iraq, and supporting the use of state assasinations and coercive interrogations, I was working to build a revitalized, principled, fiscally responsible New Democratic Party that is ready to take on Stephen Harper's Conservatives.

Again, I'm not inclined to hide from this.

I am incredibly proud of my record. Of the things you and I have accomplished together.

It's this record of Canadian leadership that I will take to voters as I ask them to join with me to defeat this out-of-touch Conservative government.

TAKING ON STEPHEN HARPER.

A few weeks ago, Michael Ignatieff responded to Stephen Harper's divisive approach on guns by targeting six NDP MPs who consistently supported the gun registry.

And not a single Conservative MP who actually opposed it.

A lot of people have asked me, with the Liberals turning their focus solely towards us, whether I will point the NDP's election resources solely towards Michael Ignatieff's team.

No. I absolutely won't.

The focus of New Democrats across the country remains the same. To defeat Stephen Harper's out-of-touch government. And to replace it with New Democrat leadership that cares about the challenges that middle-class families face right now.

I know that after four and a half years under the Conservatives, Canadians are looking for a different kind of leadership. And only New Democrats are stepping up to the plate.

You see, in two and a half years as Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff has voted in favour of every single Stephen Harper budget.

Under his leadership, the Liberals have consistently voted to adopt Mr. Harper's tax breaks for profitable banks and big polluters. The same corporate giveaways that Mr. Ignatieff now pretends to oppose.

Michael Ignatieff even voted for the Harper HST that has caused the price of everyday essentials to skyrocket in B.C. and Ontario.

And he hasn't delivered a single thing for Canadians in return.

Michael Ignatieff has backed Stephen Harper throughout his entire political career. That is his record of public service. And that is why the only path left for him seems to be attacking New Democrats.

DEFEATING CONSERVATIVES IN THE NEXT ELECTION.

New Democrats have our sights set on the real target. Defeating Stephen Harper's government.

And I want you to be a part of it.

I'm asking you to make a pre-election donation right now. Canadians are looking for an alternative to Stephen Harper, and you and I are going to give it to them. Together we are going to defeat Conservatives across the country.

We'll defeat Stephen Harper in B.C., in Alberta, in Saskatchewan and in Manitoba - all places where New Democrats are the only alternative to the Conservatives.

We'll defeat them in Ontario, in places like Oshawa where the scars of four years of Stephen Harper's broken promises are all too evident.

We'll build a national alternative to Stephen Harper by building on our breakthrough in Quebec.

And we'll defeat Stephen Harper in Atlantic Canada, in ridings like South Shore Saint Margaret's where we finished only 2% behind the Conservatives in 2008.

I want you to help make it happen. Make your secure online donation right now - and let's launch the next election campaign with a bang.

It's time for a different kind of leadership here in Canada. Not Stephen Harper's out-of-touch approach, but leadership that cares about you. Not the Conservatives' Republican-style wedge politics, but leadership that seeks out common-sense solutions to make your life better.

As an actual small-business owner, as a professor at Ryerson University, and yes, in 28 years as an elected leader, I've learned a lot about how to get practical results for you. That's why I'm running to be your Prime Minister.

I'm ready to take up this challenge. Your New Democrat team is ready as well. With your help, we're going to make it happen.

Jack Layton
Leader of Canada's New Democrats

Well, what do you think about this move?

They're obviously carrying on the theme of leadership that makes a difference and cares about people, but now using Iggy's cheap shots from last week's video ("career politician") and a few of the open mike town halls as a opening, to contrast leadership styles and records of accomplishment in terms of who would be better to beat Stephen Harper.

remind remind's picture

Excellent letter I got one too, and thoroughly enjoyed it again reading it the second time.

ocsi

I like it.  And it's about time, too.

If the NDP leaves the leadership battle to the Libs and the Cons then the election will be between those two parties.  And as the NDP moves up in the polls in Quebec, perhaps the folks there are looking for an alternative to the red or the blue.

oldgoat

I got one of those too.  I note that my riding of Oshawa is one of the two specifically mentioned.  The candidate is Chris Buckley, president of our CAW local 222.  A fine choice IMHO. I'm looking forward to an exciting campaign.

Sean in Ottawa

I like it although would have preferred not to indulge in the "just visiting" Con theme so directly. I don't buy the argument that being away was that bad a thing-- but all the same it seems Ignatief asked for it so I don't have as much trouble with it as I would otherwise.

Seems that this letter tells us more about Ignatief than anything else-- that he should go after Layton in this way opens him badly to an argument that he is trying to escape (the just visiting thing). If he runs an election campaign like this then we could be staring down a Con majority.

ottawaobserver

It seems Layton's analysis is that Ignatieff made a mistake in venturing that kind of attack, and he is looking to expand on the opening, particularly in light of Chantal Hébert's column this morning, and the interpretation senior pundits are signalling they will attach to any Liberal loss in Vaughan.

I did like the tiny shot: "as an ACTUAL small business owner".  That dreck on the Liberal video about Ignatieff saying he was a small-businessman living paycheck to paycheck was laughable.  I realize the Liberals like that video of him, but there are too many g's being dropped and "ya"s instead of "you"s for it to seem realistic to me.  It's just another phony-baloney re-selling of Iggy as every-man, and it doesn't work.

Apparently Iggy also told the open-mike forum in Guelph that he never votes on private members bills, when responding to questions about his absence for the vote on Gerard Kennedy's bill on war resisters.  Slight problem: he's voted on PMBs tons of times in the past, including the one on the long-gun registry.

After two years as leader, Iggy's still winging it and making things up, and Layton is signalling that while his own focus is on defeating Harper, he's not going to let Iggy get away with that, and is going to move to take advantage of the openings Iggy gives him by doing so.

NorthReport

I have been trying to get the message out for some time now, that the LPC will be lucky to win 50 seats in the next election, and frequently get criticised for my prognostication.

But you know, every day we are closer to the election, every day I believe more and more, that although Duceppe, Layton & Harper won't, Ignasieff is going to bomb big time once the writ is dropped.

I definitely do not want to be anywhere near my Liberal friends when the election results arrive on election nite, which by-the-way will be sometime between March 1 - April 30, 2011

al-Qa'bong

After seeing him say that he is "incredibly proud" of his accomplishments, twice, I quit reading

David Young

oldgoat wrote:

I got one of those too.  I note that my riding of Oshawa is one of the two specifically mentioned.  The candidate is Chris Buckley, president of our CAW local 222.  A fine choice IMHO. I'm looking forward to an exciting campaign.

And I live in the other one:  South Shore-St. Margarets (we use the abbreviation, no-one spells it 'Saint' here!)

A great positive letter in a sea of Liberal/Tory negativity.

Bring on the next election; Gordon Earle is looking forward to getting back into the House!!

 

jrootham

al-Qa'bong wrote:

After seeing him say that he is "incredibly proud" of his accomplishments, twice, I quit reading

Why?  You expect him to say that he is not proud of his accomplishments?  He may well not have done what you want him to do, but he is making a political speech in response to an attack on his other flank.  What would you expect him to say?

 

al-Qa'bong

As a voter, do you find incredible pride an attractive quality?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Jack Layton is standing up for Canadians.

Michael Ignatieff is . . . down for the Count.

remind remind's picture

Personally, I find being proud of one's accomplishments that is open, better than those attitudes that are constant shallow undercurrents of "better than you" based upon nothing much. Which is Iggy  and most Liberals I know to the max.

Fidel

Jack Layton wrote:
You see, in two and a half years as Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff has voted in favour of every single Stephen Harper budget

They're two wings of the same party, Jack. FPTP elections are a game for rich people to decide the winners.

ottawaobserver

al-Qa'bong wrote:

As a voter, do you find incredible pride an attractive quality?

I think it's a question of what one takes pride in.  Everyone takes pride in something.  If you were attacked for something you had worked hard on, Al, you'd probably say in response that you were proud of it too.

Anyway, Layton's impressed me a lot over the years, and I didn't originally support him.  He's not given to running off at the mouth and saying the first thing that pops into his head, like Iggy is, and unlike Iggy every third or fourth word is not I, me or my.  He fully recognizes that the NDP is not going to be given the same news hole as the other parties and works hard to make sure every utterance of his counts for something important.  While he's made a couple of mistakes, he's never made one twice, which demonstrates he's learned something along the way.

The way he handled the gun registry issue I think exemplifies why he's a far superior choice to Ignatieff.  I'd rather vote for the smart, strategic progressive, than strategically vote for the undisciplined dilettante.

Unionist

If Layton's aim (as he says) is to defeat the Harper government, then why did he say nothing about Harper other than: tax giveaways, HST, "out-of-touch" government (whatever that means - it rated three mentions), and "wedge" politics? Are those the cardinal sins that Canadians need to reflect upon when deciding to vote against Harper?

And as for the merits of the NDP, all I could find was "revitalized, principled, fiscally responsible", and "cares about the challenges facing middle-class families".

I realize this is not a policy statement, but remind me - what exactly did he say? Other than sniping back at the puerile Ignatieff and his gang of opportunists.

 

 

remind remind's picture

What Stephen Harper has done really requires no indepth regurgitation in a quick email to NDP supporters, eh!

ottawaobserver

Unionist, it's about positioning.  In case you haven't noticed, the media has been trying to write the NDP out of the debate for the last six weeks, and job one has been to force their way back into the dialogue, otherwise it wouldn't matter what one said because it wouldn't get through to anywhere.  Secondarily, it's also about morale amongst supporters.

There's a ton of stuff on the website, and in the daily debates of the House of Commons, so before you make a criticism based on content, please consider the whole body of work.

Unionist

Yes, OO, in case you hadn't noticed, I said I realized it wasn't a policy statement. Now that we've reprimanded each other, did you have an actual view about my question? Why do you think he picked those particular issues to emphasize? Is it for the media? Do they resonate with supporters (three out of four don't resonate with me very much)? Or was it purely accidental with no thought whatsoever?

You say job one is to get "back into the dialogue". Why on those points?

ottawaobserver

No, I saw your comment alright.  I believe in a compare-and-contrast piece, you try and pick issues that highlight the comparison.  It's tricky to do in a multi-party comparison.  The positioning problem is to defend against an attack from quarters that are not the main focus of your own preferred attack.  The issues selected are ones that distinguish the record of Ignatieff and the Liberals from that of the NDP, which are salient to voters who might be considering switching between those two parties, and help make the case for the NDP in that situation, while still keeping the main focus as defeating the government.

ottawaobserver

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

3) He is framing the real conflict to be over government direction and leadership and pointing out that the NDP not the Liberals are the prime opposition to the Liberals in much of Canada. He is of course emphasizing that the Liberals and Cons may snipe at each other but remain voting for the same things.

I'm assuming you mean that the NDP not the Liberals are the prime opposition to the Conservatives in much of Canada.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist I think that Jack and his advisors take these kinds of fund raising letters to their own troops very seriously and there is no chance that the messaging in every single sentence was not considered.  Like all political parties these days it seems the NDP is choosing to expend its efforts on the people who vote and that "middle class" demographic is the target audience. However a majority of the people who don't vote are the ones being screwed and suffering in their poverty.  

Good politics or a short sighted electoral strategy that in the long run leaves no room for growth for a party on the left?  If the poor workers in our inner cities think a party is irrelevant can it truly be a left wing party? 

ottawaobserver

Not exactly right, kropotkin.  The group of people you think of as "middle class" and the people who actually think of themselves as "middle class" are probably two very different groups.  We might like the term, given our wonderful publicly-funded university education with a bunch of tenured neo-marxists.  But the fact is that what the terms means to us is very different from what it means to most other people.

If you listen closely to what people call themselves, it's rude to call them something else.  There's a real psychological difference between thinking of yourself as a "poor worker", on the one hand, and thinking of yourself as a middle class person who has been been victimized by economic choices made by Liberals and Conservatives, on the other.

If you were familiar with any of the strategies being studied and employed by the NDP, you would know that targeting non-voters is absolutely central to their approach.

Of course, this is a fundraising letter.  I guess we need to get non-voters voting at all first, then voting for us, and only then should we ask them for money, right ;-)

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

OO some of us have been advocating it for years and have seen it work in campaigns in BC. So you are telling me that the Ottawa brain trust is actually going to do more than pay it lip service?

I put "middle class" in brackets specifically because I understand that it is another of those undefinable terms that people use instead of a three paragraph explanation. I personally find it a useless word that defines no one in this country anymore.  I did not use the term in isolation so maybe you should read Jack's missive again.  As for agreeing with the MSM narrative that a Tim's employee is middle class I admit I have trouble swallowing that lie.  

Is Jack saying that a Tim's or Walmart employee is middle class or is he saying we are going to take care of another class's interests not the Tim and Walmart employees?  By the way retail is the largest occupation in the BUrnaby riding I live in so this not theoretical. I think many of my neighbours identify as working poor. They are not delusional they know they are working three to five jobs per couple to keep themselves alive. They would laugh at being called middle class and I think successful local campaigns eschew that kind of language. Lets face it if they are middle class then it basically only leaves the homeless as poor.

Quote:

The focus of New Democrats across the country remains the same. To defeat Stephen Harper's out-of-touch government. And to replace it with New Democrat leadership that cares about the challenges that middle-class families face right now.

[quote/]

 

I love the way that you encourage people from the left to join in your efforts to defeat Harpo. I never said I liked the term and it seems only the author of the fund raising letter liked the term.

Quote:

The group of people you think of as "middle class" and the people who actually think of themselves as "middle class" are probably two very different groups.  We might like the term, given our wonderful publicly-funded university education with a bunch of tenured neo-marxists.  But the fact is that what the terms means to us is very different from what it means to most other people.

[quote/]