Harpers Bizarre Week

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justschilling
Harpers Bizarre Week

 

justschilling

Comment: Can we discuss how the NDP is propping up the Conservative party and how this is good for all Canadians as these quotes below from a story in today's Toronto Sun?

"Dion's leadership has been so without gravitas or direction, the Liberal party so demoralized and in disarray -- well, Jack and the Dippers simply could not resist the temptation to kick the Liberals while they are down, preferably into oblivion.

"We are firmly focused on a mission to do what is best for Canada and for all Canadians," an NDP strategist says wryly. "That would be to take advantage of the current vulnerability (of the Grits) to achieve the marginalization and, with luck, eradication of the Liberal party."

from Harpers Bizarre Week

at: [url=http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Weston_Greg/2008/03/09/4952331...

also from the article:

"PM praises Jack Layton, NDP goes mum on ethical issue and Grits stay home."

"Two years later, the once-principled New Democrats now spend their time mindlessly attacking the once-mighty Liberals cowering from an election against the once-right-wing Conservatives now playing footsie with the lefties."

"Stephen Harper took to praising Jack Layton's leadership, the NDP went mum on hot-button ethical and social issues, and the Liberals weighed in on the biggest spending bill of the year by calling in sick."

"Dion's leadership has been so without gravitas or direction, the Liberal party so demoralized and in disarray -- well, Jack and the Dippers simply could not resist the temptation to kick the Liberals while they are down, preferably into oblivion."

"We are firmly focused on a mission to do what is best for Canada and for all Canadians," an NDP strategist says wryly. "That would be to take advantage of the current vulnerability (of the Grits) to achieve the marginalization and, with luck, eradication of the Liberal party."

As a result, the Dipster said, "we are not going to do anything that would give the Liberals a chance to score points, even if that means maybe pulling some punches with the Conservative government."

All of which helps to explain what has become an unlikely loopy love-in of late between the NDP and Conservatives.

With both Harper's integrity and Conservative party ethics on the ropes, Layton and the NDP were noticeably absent from the ring.

The Dips even went so far as to join the Conservatives in blocking the Commons ethics committee from investigating the Cadman affair.

An NDP adviser explained: "Damaging Harper and the Conservatives on ethical issues like the Cadman mess mainly helps the Grits, and that's not in our gameplan."

As for doing the right thing to ensure good government, the NDP are apparently content to leave that for another day.

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

writer writer's picture

Sure. [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh8qBkrAuEM]Anti-War Canadians confront Dion and Rae on Afghanistan War[/url]

justschilling

Writer,

So we should debase the libs while shoring up the conservative government to end the war?

writer writer's picture

If you want to buy the framing of the Toronto Sun, please be my guest. I can't recall purchasing the paper in my lifetime.

That you've linked to this piece the same week that the Liberals:

a) Screwed the second reading of bill C-484 - a vote that Dion himself missed because he was hosting a pink-themed party for the girls on the Hill and;

b) Exploited IWD and the cuts women's groups have suffered under the Conservatives to put forward some cheap, incomprehensible, whiny, anti-democratic motion of non-confidence against [i]the other two opposition parties[/i].

Well. Enough said.

It's a useless party. Why shouldn't it die?

Pierre C yr

Jack slamming Harper on Lou Dobbs and slamming him in the house on naftagate doesnt look to me like the ndp is playing footsie with the tories vs the grits. Looks to me like its taken them both on.

writer writer's picture

I also love how a series of non-confidence motions [i]against the government[/i] put forward by the Bloc and NDP can be spun as attacks on the Liberals and as somehow being soft on Harper.

Poor wee natural governing party. Life is so hard outside the bully pulpit, and in the hands of the electorate.

justschilling

Thanks for trying to provide some clarity.

I don't recall supporting the paper which published the story. In fact, I pulled from the paper the relevant quotes direct from NDP "strategists" for discussion.

Here are some more NDP quotes from strategists, without the obvious bias usually spun out by the editorial staff at the Toronto Sun.

quote:

"Damaging Harper and the Conservatives on ethical issues like the Cadman mess mainly helps the Grits, and that's not in our gameplan."

The Dipster said, "we are not going to do anything that would give the Liberals a chance to score points, even if that means maybe pulling some punches with the Conservative government."


It is beyond my frail powers to comprehend how debasing liberals at this time is "best for all Canadians." Especially as it relates to the issue you forward with our presence in Afghanistan. Do you think that somehow a stronger Conservative Government and a weaker Liberal opposition is going to benefit those who wish to see our involvement in Afghanistan come to a close?

How does "pulling some punches with the conservatives," benefit Canadians? How does this square with being an "opposition party?"

Can you name one policy or issue the New Democrats are forwarding that will benefit all Canadians under this strategy?

Do you see any progressive measure gaining credibility under these auspices?

In fact, could you please identify one thing that would be of benefit to all Canadians under the strategy clearly claimed in this piece by New Democratic strategists?

writer writer's picture

One "strategist." Not named. With an unexplained and possibly non-existent current formal role within the party. As quoted in a right-wing paper.

I will not nibble.

The Liberals seem to be doing a fine job debasing themselves.

I agree, this does no favours for our country.

Edited to add: Oh yes, "an adviser" too. Though it's not entirely clear whether the adviser and the strategist are different people. Or whether they work for the party. Or whether they just talk to their TVs (and right-wing columnists).

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: writer ]

justschilling

So you are claiming that what is printed in these quotes is not an adequate reflection of the current strategy of the NDP but rather the delusional spin of a right wing rag whom makes up sources or reports them as people they are not?

writer writer's picture

Did you notice the name(s) attributed to the quotes? Job description(s)? Role(s) within the party? How important / respected / influential? Proximity to decision making, political approach, etc.?

You are doing a mediocre job of misrepresenting what I write. I've got a bit of a reputation for being blunt assed. No need to reframe.

Thanks for the effort, however. It's adorable.

pogge

quote:


Originally posted by justschilling:
[b]So you are claiming that what is printed in these quotes is not an adequate reflection of the current strategy of the NDP...[/b]

Writer can, of course, correct me if I'm wrong but I believe she's claiming that characterizing the NDP position based on anonymous quotes from one or two "strategists" calls for a giant box of salt and makes a poor basis for serious discussion. In case you can't tell, I agree.

Edited to add: Or you could just read what writer wrote and got up there a minute before mine posted.

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: pogge ]

justschilling

You would both be completely accurate if in fact the basis for the argument was simply these quotes from one of today's newspapers.

I used them as current fodder for this discussion because they reflect both a long standing undercurrent of the party leadership as well as a reference to an occasion in the house last week that actually saw the Prime Minister stroke Layton for his work.

For other sources you may wish to read two books. One from the right written by Tom Flanagan and another from the "left" written by Jamey Heath both of which substantiate the quotes I have posted for this discussion.

Or, of course, there is this dated quote from Brad Lavigne which provides some insight into how long this strategy has been advocated by the NDP.

quote:

“As traditional Liberal voters become dismayed by Paul Martin's campaign, they're finding a comfortable new home in the NDP. This ad features just a small sample of them.”

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

pogge

Excuse me? Did you just suggest that I read Tom Flanagan for insight into [i]NDP[/i] policy? I don't even take Flanagan at face value when he discusses the Conservatives, never mind their opponents.

See ya.

justschilling

No I simply gave you source material from both the left and right sides of the spectrum.

I have much more available that you can dismiss out of hand if you like.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

You've misspelled your screen name.

It should obviously be "just shilling" [for the Liberal Party].

justschilling

Spector,

Good on ya, for seeing through my thinly veiled nic name.

Unfortunately the accuracy of your statement as it applies to me is in question.

I have belonged to the NDP for over twenty years, have never voted for anyone else and have never been as disgusted as I am today. Largely due to this "strategy" that other potential shills claim is not the actual "strategy."

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Right...

You're "disgusted" at the NDP for attacking the Liberals.

So you start a thread by quoting an entire article from the Toronto Sun (of all rags) that - surprise - supports your position, while exposing babble to possible legal consequences for copyright infringement.

How very clever of you.

Michelle

justschilling, please follow the policy you agreed to when you signed up for babble, and cut back the article to a relevant paragraph or two and link to the rest. Right now.

Thanks.

writer writer's picture

If I could get a buck for every one of these guys who comes on to babble with the same story. Must come out of some manual.

"Say you are a long-time NDP member ... the scales, they have painfully been ripped from your eyes ... critical thinking reflects [i]others'[/i] shilling ..."

Just out of curiosity: While Levigne isn't a favourite of mine, exactly what in his quote above reflects a go-easy-on-the-Conservatives stance?

Seems to me he's saying that the Liberals' [i]own[/i] actions were disillusioning the party's traditional base. Should the NDP have discouraged such people from voting at all? Encouraged them to vote for Conservatives? Sunk money in an anyone-but-the-NDP campaign?

And what is it about the Liberals' position-of-the-day on Afghanistan that would make those against the war support the party? What is so different from the Conservatives?

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: writer ]

Mercy

I find it hard to believe that a real NDP strategist would tell the Toronto Sun's political columnist that they're helping the Tories - even if it was true.

This gets to a few issues for me:

1) Why are journalists using anonymous sources for stories like these? Journalists are supposed to avoid using "anonymous sources" unless they need to - as in life or safety is at risk. Now, however, any jackass peddling an opinion can say "off the record" and get quoted as a "strategist" with no accountability. For all I know Weston made this guy up. I think we dserve to know whether this is a real insider or some Robin Sears type who's merely pretending to have the inside scoop. Or, for that matter, a figment of Weston's imagination.

2) I'm kind of blown away by the extent to which the Hill Press Corps is getting high and mighty about this issue. Getting this issue before a Commons committee would produce a shitshow that would resolve absolutely nothing. Just like the Commons committee on the Schreiber affair produced a shitshow that resolved nothing. It would, however, generate good new stories: the grieving family called to testify, the backroom boys forced before the opposition for a grilling. Looks great on TV - I'll admit it. I just wish the Hill reporters would admit that that's why they want it. This faux outrage about a "cover-up" is such self-serving crap.

3) Stephen Harper's not stupid. He knows that when he praises Jack's questioning he's hurting him - so this notion that he was encouraging Jack for not asking about Cadman doesn't make a lot of sense. If anything he made it more awkward for Layton. I think it's far more likely that Harper was trying to diffuse a very delicate international incident by saying that he takes the questions seriously.

4) Regardless of the truth, the NDP suffers a lot whenever voters are left with the impression that they'd rather see the Tories win then inadvertantly help the Liberals - which is probably why the Liberals are out spinning this so violently. Personally, I'm pretty proud of the federal caucus this week. They put real issues, like NAFTA and the economy, on the agenda and articulated a clear vision. My only quibble is that we need to increase our vigilance about being seen to be helping Harper in any way.

MacD

quote:


For the entire past week, the daily donnybrook in the Commons has been dominated by allegations that in 2005, the Conservatives tried to "bribe" a dying Independent MP, Chuck Cadman, to help vote the former Liberal government out of office.

With both Harper's integrity and Conservative party ethics on the ropes, Layton and the NDP were noticeably absent from the ring.

The Dips even went so far as to join the Conservatives in blocking the Commons ethics committee from investigating the Cadman affair.

An NDP adviser explained: "Damaging Harper and the Conservatives on ethical issues like the Cadman mess mainly helps the Grits, and that's not in our gameplan."

As for doing the right thing to ensure good government, the NDP are apparently content to leave that for another day.


Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the NDP position was that the Cadman attempted bribery affair should be investigated by the RCMP as a criminal matter, as opposed to a parliamentary investigation under relatively toothless ethics guidelines.

Mercy

Yes, but reporters don't want an RCMP investigation. They want the Parliamentary committee hearings because they can report on them. Sells more papers.

justschilling

Writer,

All you have done is avoid, obfuscate and spin yourself in circles while claiming I have somehow misrepresented your positions.

quote:

You are doing a mediocre job of misrepresenting what I write. I've got a bit of a reputation for being blunt assed. No need to reframe.

Thanks for the effort, however. It's adorable.


You can be any kind of ass you like but please refrain from trying to fill my head full of sh!t.

Nor have you even attempted to address the matters I originally forwarded or answered these questions which bare repeating:

quote:

It is beyond my frail powers to comprehend how debasing liberals at this time is "best for all Canadians." Especially as it relates to the issue you forward with our presence in Afghanistan. Do you think that somehow a stronger Conservative Government and a weaker Liberal opposition is going to benefit those who wish to see our involvement in Afghanistan come to a close?

How does "pulling some punches with the conservatives," benefit Canadians? How does this square with being an "opposition party?"

Can you name one policy or issue the New Democrats are forwarding that will benefit all Canadians under this strategy?

Do you see any progressive measure gaining credibility under these auspices?

In fact, could you please identify one thing that would be of benefit to all Canadians under the strategy clearly claimed in this piece by New Democratic strategists?


And then you offer this......

quote:

If I could get a buck for every one of these guys who comes on to babble with the same story. Must come out of some manual.

"Say you are a long-time NDP member ... the scales, they have painfully been ripped from your eyes ... critical thinking reflects others' shilling ..."


While I appreciate a good barb every now and again it is painfully obvious that personal attacks are a last resort when the substance of the debate is abandoned and the argument lost.

People here have accused me of being a shill even though I have not defended or promoted the Liberal party. On the other hand it seems clear that more than a few here are 'reading from the same song sheet' or 'manual' as you describe it. For me, I am more comfortable being a perceived shill for the opposition Liberals than a mole for the ruling conservatives.

quote:

Seems to me he's saying that the Liberals' own actions were disillusioning the party's traditional base. Should the NDP have discouraged such people from voting at all? Encouraged them to vote for Conservatives? Sunk money in an anyone-but-the-NDP campaign?


At least here you are asking some relevant questions, although it is obvious that the NDP will not run an anybody but themselves campaign.

More to the points raised here; I suggest the NDP start by considering these five simple straight forward options:

1) Work to defeat the Conservatives - Federal NDP strategists should easily understand their current strategy of debasing the liberal party serves the Conservatives while forwarding an antithetical agenda which alienates the base of their own party and undermines any of the so-called successes they have claimed to date under Harper's minority.

2) Work with opposing parties to defeat the Conservatives - It is obvious to most observers that based on policy and platform, the three major opposing parties share common perspectives especially when compared to the platform of the minority conservatives. It would behoove all three parties to adjust their strategies accordingly in a bid to defeat the minority agenda of Stephen Harper.

3) Stop campaigning to be PM - While I appreciate the underpinnings of such noble posturing I find it near impossible to comprehend the unrealistic strategy of pursuing government at the real cost of advancing the Harper agenda. It is clear to me that government is an unachievable goal for the NDP and Jack Layton will not be Prime Minister, with that in mind, a coherent strategy that forwards the issues, values, morals and ideals of his party should be the priority.

4) Work with all the parties to forward issues in tune with the Party - Jack Layton could and should work on brokering deals with all parties that forward issues in tune with the agenda he has been elected to represent. That is what should occur in a minority house. This would better reflect a commitment to a progressive agenda versus simply advancing his political career while achieving minor advances in polling that are largely irrelevant.

5) Stop grandstanding on minor populist issues at the expense of major political concerns - The NDP has been historically identified as the conscience of the nation. This noble and vital role has been abandoned in favour of a strategy of headline-grabbing, populist-based measures with little if any bearing on the most relevant issues facing our country today. This strategy may serve to keep Layton in the spotlight and may even work to boost the parties fortunes in the polls, but it does so at the expense of forwarding issues of great importance.

quote:

And what is it about the Liberals' position-of-the-day on Afghanistan that would make those against the war support the party? What is so different from the Conservatives?

Again, I have not advocated the Liberal position but simply posed the question of how a stronger Conservative Government and weaker Liberal opposition is going to bring an end to our involvement in Afghanistan. (Oddly enough the current Liberal position is exactly the position advocated by Jack at the last convention when the 'Loonie Left' was lobbying hard for unconditional withdrawal - the position Jack is now known for.)

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

justschilling

Michelle,

I apologize for any infringement of the rules.

I have to admit I don't often post here (for what are now obvious reasons) and was not aware of the infringement posting a news story presented.

I will pay closer attention in the future.

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

justschilling

MACD,

Just so I got this right.

We WANT the RCMP to get on this?

Ok Gotcha.......

Maybe what I really need is clarification on why? Or better yet, point to a precedent where the RCMP has served the NDP well.

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

janfromthebruce

I hope the NDP does become the official opposition or the govt. I hate it when they run for third place.

quote:

2) Work with opposing parties to defeat the Conservatives - It is obvious to most observers that based on policy and platform, the three major opposing parties share common perspectives especially when compared to the platform of the minority conservatives. It would behoove all three parties to adjust their strategies accordingly in a bid to defeat the minority agenda of Stephen Harper.

Last I saw, it was the NDP who tries working with the opposition parties, and the last I looked, it was the libs working to prop up the Harper govt. It has been the NDP who has voted against every con confidence motion. The libs meanwhile, keep us in Afghanistan and vote for con budgets, so I laugh when you talk about Layton grand standing.

Anyway, do you see anything in Weston's article that is missing on the NDP position here, you being a long time NDPer and all? I mean Weston purposely was silent on the NDP wanting this to be investigated by the RCMP rather than the toothless parlimentary committee of endless soundbites but no charges.
I guess Weston wasn't interested in balanced reporting but ensuring that his "storyline" of NDP propping up Harper although the facts don't support this myth, but what the heck, it's part of the liberal myth on how the NDP did them wrong - boo hoo.

Incidently, the NDP position on Afghanistan is not anywhere the same as the libs (Afghanistan forever), or that amendment the libs will propose to the Harper's motion of extending the mission again (4th extension since 2003 incidently, if you are interested), would be supported by the NDP. Essentially, and even the Globe stated this, the Lib position is exactly the same as the cons, with some weasel words to smug the difference.

Anyway, maybe you should write Jack, as a long term NDP supporter, and ask him if he would mentor Dion, you know take him under his wing and help him out.

Jack might mention that using women's international day and a motion in the house by slamming the NDP (what the ???) is not the way to become bed fellows. Just a thought, as you sound so concerned about Jack becoming a better prop for the misguided libs. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: janfromthebruce ]

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: janfromthebruce ]

justschilling

Mercy,

Thanks for your balanced and insightful comments.

I share your bewilderment with the strategy and the reported claims of the NDP's so-called strategists.

The real or perceived political support of Harper's Government is the single largest challenge facing the party.

There is a very strong likelihood, as the polls have been indicating, that Jacks party is facing decimation in the coming election based on the crux this issue presents.

Clearly dismissing those who share this concern with overblown rhetoric and personal attacks will only underscore this dilemma.

writer writer's picture

janfromthebruce, you could do with a bit of editing.

Edited to add: editing's been added. Many thanks. Much more clear.

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: writer ]

justschilling

JanfromtheBruce,

Nice rant.

quote:

I hope the NDP does become the official opposition or the govt. I hate it when they run for third place.


Yeah don't we all but then there is that small caveat known as reality.

quote:

Last I saw, it was the NDP who tries working with the opposition parties,


Examples? I have got a number of our assisting the Conservatives.

quote:

and the last I looked, it was the libs working to prop up the Harper govt.

Right. There are still libs in the tent that are Conservatives. Ignatief and Manley among others. But more to the point, daring one to jump of a cliff and then claiming their refusal equates to "propping up the Government," is a stretch.

quote:

It has been the NDP who has voted against every con confidence motion.

'
Yeah and it has been to clever by half. Layton came out and said he would not vote for a budget he had not even seen. Which suggests to me his position is based in political posturing and not in actually opposing measures of the Government. He took the position knowing full well Dion would not jump, even after being dared and the continuous repeat of this folly is not serving Jack well.

quote:

The libs meanwhile, keep us in Afghanistan and vote for con budgets, so I laugh when you talk about Layton Grand standing.

I am equally disgusted about the shenanigans that continue to reinforce our presence in Afghanistan but your grandstanding completely ignores the positioning of a largely meaningless minority party hell bent on making political gain at the expense of bettering the circumstance for all Canadians.

quote:

Anyway, do you see anything in Weston's article that is missing on the NDP position here, you being a long time NDPer and all. I mean Weston purposely was silent on the NDP wanting this to be investigated by the RCMP rather than the toothless parlimentary committee of endless soundbites but no charges.

It should be clear that I did not write the Weston piece nor do I believe him to be a competent journalist. That said, the stickhandling of this issue to involve the RCMP seems conveniently out of tune with our history in these types of circumstances and it could be easily interpreted as deflecting one for the Conservatives.

quote:

I guess Weston wasn't interested in balanced reporting but ensuring that his "storyline" of NDP propping up Harper although the facts don't support this myth, but what the heck, it's part of the liberal myth on how the NDP did them wrong - boo hoo.

No one suggests the Tor Sun is balanced and it is equally deceptive to suggest the myth of the NDP supporting the Conservatives is some sort of Liberal spin. There is plenty of real, plausible incidences that support this so called myth you try to dismiss as so much hot air.

quote:

Incidently, the NDP position on Afghanistan is not anywhere the same as the libs

I did not say they were the same I said the current Liberal position is the same as Jack's position at the time of the last NDP Convention. You may recall that many in the party and especially in the MSMedia ridiculed the "loonie left" while twisting their claim into "our troops are terrorists" because we pointed out their role in Afghanistan while demanding unconditional and immediate withdrawal. At the time Jack's rhetoric was pretty much exactly what we are now hearing from Dion.

[QUOTE}
Anyway, maybe you should write Jack, as a long term NDP supporter, and ask him if he would mentor Dion, you know take him under his wing and help him out.
[/QUOTE]

Whats funny is that while you make this statement with tongue firmly planted in cheek, the basis of this claim is exactly what Jack should do. He should recognize the leadership vacuum on the centre/left and move to fill it by working with the libs and providing leadership to defeat the conservatives.

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

janfromthebruce

I guess I would take your postings seriously if you added balance - like suggesting the libs work with the NDP. It is the total slant that the NDP must move and make nice with the libs - repeatedly here - that makes me pause and wondering where you are really coming from.

When I see lib bloggers sickened by their lib MPs embarassing themselves by their actions/non-actions in parliament, I think that you are barking up the wrong tree.

So do you think that the NDP should have supported the libs women's day motion for the sake of harmony?

I don't think the NDP has a problem working with the opposition when it is about Canadians. That's why I was glad to see Layton be so articulent about the NAFTA-gate on US TV. He was thinking about Canadians and making these free grab deals work for Canadians and the environment.

Anyway, I like that Layton works so that it is perceived that the libs/cons really are not much different. And each day they look and talk about the same. [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img]

justschilling

JanfromBruce,

Last Christmas both Dion and Layton included harmonious language in their seasonal addresses.

Recent polls strongly suggest that Canadians do not jive with partisan posturing and would prefer to see someone deliver on a clear agenda supported by a majority of voters.

Your point about it being a two way street is valid but my observation has been that Jack has made a unified effort of any sort unpalatable by consistently undermining Dion and the Liberals and any effort of Dion's to extend the olive branch would be political suicide.

You may question my intent, which is all well and fine, not to mention typical in such forums, but I am not barking up the wrong tree. My intent is simple - DEFEAT THE CONSERVATIVES - end of story and there are only so many options available to us to achieve that goal.

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

janfromthebruce

Hopefully this will be my last response to you here. Hat trick to Accidential Deliberations for helping me cohert without being flippant in responding to your concerns that the NDP is not working with the opposition to defeat the Cons.

quote:

On missions

I'm not sure exactly how "wry" the NDP strategist cited by Greg Weston was in providing quotes for Weston's article. But let's take a moment to note how problematic it would be if some of the NDP's braintrust is indeed narrowly focused on avoiding "anything that would give the Liberals a chance to score points" - as the result could only be a failure of both principle and strategy.

The principle point should be a fairly obvious one. But the question of what strategy is most likely to lead to success for the NDP deserves a bit more of an explanation.

In order to establish itself as a governing alternative, the NDP needs to convince a substantial number of voters of the answers to two questions: whether the Cons deserve to stay in power, and which party deserves to take their place if not. Given the need to get both of those questions answered in the NDP's favour, it makes little sense to concentrate only on the second one - and even less to focus solely on whether a particular action might potentially assist the Libs rather than on whether it can be turned to the NDP's favour.

Moreover, even to the extent the NDP needs to capitalize on Lib weakness now, it won't do that successfully by letting the Libs land more effective blows to Harper when it comes to Con scandals. If the Libs are given a chance to balance their ineffectiveness in opposing the Cons on policy with a relative advantage in challenging the Cons' ethics, then the NDP is far less likely to persuade historic Lib voters that they're a more effective contrast to a government which is wrong on both.

Which means that the NDP needs to keep the Cons' feet to the fire. And while it can validly do so by reaching different conclusions than the Libs as to which scandals and ethical issues need to be brought to light (e.g. choosing a different target for its punches), it can't get anywhere by pulling punches altogether - as the strategist's position would suggest.

Fortunately, the NDP's actions are far more in keeping with what the party should be doing than with what the strategist says it's doing. As I've pointed out, the NDP has in fact made repeated efforts to bring together the opposition to Harper's Cons. Meanwhile, it's the Libs who have refused entreaties to do so, ensuring that they appear as petty in opposition as they are ineffective.

And contrary to what Weston implies in the rest of his article, the NDP has indeed kept challenging the Cons on ethics as well as policy - helping to ensure that the Canadian public does reach the right answer as to whether or not it can afford to leave Harper in power. Which means that as long as the NDP's actions continue where they're headed rather than where the strategist suggests they're aimed, Layton and company should remain on the best possible path for both party and country.


To read more and link to his/her other links in the post go here:[url=http://accidentaldeliberations.blogspot.com/2008/03/on-missions.html]Acc... Deliberations[/url]

Mercy

quote:


Originally posted by justschilling:
[b]I share your bewilderment with the strategy and the reported claims of the NDP's so-called strategists.

The real or perceived political support of Harper's Government is the single largest challenge facing the party.

There is a very strong likelihood, as the polls have been indicating, that Jacks party is facing decimation in the coming election based on the crux this issue presents.

Clearly dismissing those who share this concern with overblown rhetoric and personal attacks will only underscore this dilemma.[/b]


I don't share your skepticism - or much of your analysis.

I think the Liberals have a line of attack which, rightly or wrongly, has some currency. Namely, that the NDP is more concerned with hurting the Liberals than they are with being an effective opposition.

That noted: I don't think the NDP is in danger of "decimation". In fact, after a number of weeks where haggling between Dion and Harper reduced Layton to the sidelines, they've rebounded in the polls to election levels. I want to see us doing better but hovering just below 20 per cent isn't "decimation". It's not even close.

Moreover, Jack just came off an amazing week - most of which came as a consequence of standing up to the press gallery and not pursuing the obvious with the Cadman story. Instead, Jack used a rather obscure opening to get NAFTA onto the national agenda - and he did so brilliantly making international news.

Ironically (and none of the press gallery pundits have noted this) Jack has done exactly what Liberals criticize him for not doing: ignored a scandal (Cadman) so he could focus on a real issue (a terrible trade deal that has cost Canadians thousands of jobs and eliminated our sovereignty).

My biggest concern out of all of this is that this so-called "strategist" (assuming they exist) told Weston we were trying to screw the Liberals instead of pointing out that we were simply focussing on issues that we think matter more to Canadians.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

There's nothing wrong with targetting the Liberals. The marginalization of the Liberal Party as a viable electoral force is important because they offer a false alternative - viz, they offer Tory policies larded over with progressive-sounding rhetoric.

Destroying the Liberal Party allows for the existence of a real alternative - as opposed to a gang of discredited thieves who abstain at every opportunity.

justschilling

Janfrombruce,

Please do not feel obligated to continually post here as there is no such requirement.

Accidental deliberations is a delightfully eloquent blogger.

You will note in this blogger's take on the story the issue of principle is sidestepped. He in fact suggests that the question of principle in this equation is a given and is "obvious" which implies the dippers are beyond reproach in this respect. Moreover his whole premise is based on the point I already raised here on these pages with respect to becoming a governing alternative.

Again, simply put, the NDP will not become government so to suggest their strategy is superior in both principle and practice based on this premise is faulty logic and piss poor political reasoning.

On the principle issue alone. I cannot comprehend how purposely posturing to achieve the unachievable at the expense of your proprietary principles is politically salient, moral or even debatable.

In other words, if the NDP continues in this vein of working to be the governing alternative it will do so at the expense of it's principles and not in a pragmatic fashion but rather in a way that forwards the antithetical agenda of the conservative party.

So much for the moral high ground and stands of principle eh? Always remember the more mud you sling the more ground you loose.

[ 09 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

justschilling

Mercy,

That Jack got on Lou Dobbs to talk NAFTA is fascinating isn't it?

Can you remember the last time Jack actually said anything about NAFTA? Anything at all? What was Jacks position on NAFTA before American politicians put it on the radar screen? And who was the first one in the media to respond? Oh right it was Mr Emerson, imagine that.....

That you parrot exactly the line Stephen Harper rolled out in last weeks QP is revealing enough for me to comprehend how you fail to understand any analysis that reveals this quid pro quo that continually plays out between Harper's Cons and Laytons NDP.

If you somehow think this strategy is going to deliver for the NDP versus the Conservatives you are sadly mistaken. And if you are satisfied with the prospect of gaining a seat or two (and I am not saying the NDP will) at the expense of uninterrupted Conservative governance then go ahead and fill your boots and buy yourself one of those fancy orange and blue ties I have seen around the necks of some new democrats.

justschilling

Malcolm,

Your tired refrain of Lying Liberals and relentless bastardizing of Tommy's nostalgia by invoking the age old saw of the black and white cats does nothing but marginalize your overly sanctimonious and righteous rhetoric.

Listen, brother - that was then and this is now. And if you are not disturbed by what this band of Neo-cons have done to our country in a couple of short years under a minority government and without reasonable scrutiny then you Sir, are simply not paying attention, or.........

Explain a strategy that stops it.

Roll out a plan that defeats Harper.

Mercy

And I thought we were allies.

quote:

Originally posted by justschilling:
[b]Can you remember the last time Jack actually said anything about NAFTA? Anything at all? What was Jacks position on NAFTA before American politicians put it on the radar screen? And who was the first one in the media to respond? Oh right it was Mr Emerson, imagine that.....

That you parrot exactly the line Stephen Harper rolled out in last weeks QP is revealing enough for me to comprehend how you fail to understand any analysis that reveals this quid pro quo that continually plays out between Harper's Cons and Laytons NDP.

If you somehow think this strategy is going to deliver for the NDP versus the Conservatives you are sadly mistaken. And if you are satisfied with the prospect of gaining a seat or two (and I am not saying the NDP will) at the expense of uninterrupted Conservative governance then go ahead and fill your boots and buy yourself one of those fancy orange and blue ties I have seen around the necks of some new democrats.[/b]


Just a few points of clarification:
- The NDP is not the party that supports "uniterrupted Conservative governance". In fact, they're the ones ready to call an election to end it.
- The NDP strategy seems to be
[url=http://www.francoiseboivin.com/about.html]delivering[/url] so far. Whether we'll win a seat or two or ten or a hundred remains to be seen. But, at this point, I like Jack's odds of making gains better than Dion's.
- Stephen Harper's got a lot of explaining to do on the Cadman file, on the NAFTA file, and on lots between. I don't see as anything I've said disputes that. However, if you're seriously claiming that all Jack has to do is lay into the Cadman issue to make Stephane Dion Prime Minitser you're on crack. It's not Jack's fault that the Liberals are a pack of backstabbing weasels with an empty suit as a Leader.

Doug

quote:


Originally posted by justschilling:
[b]So you are claiming that what is printed in these quotes is not an adequate reflection of the current strategy of the NDP but rather the delusional spin of a right wing rag whom makes up sources or reports them as people they are not?[/b]

It wouldn't be the first time. Shouldn't more of your vitriol be expended toward the Liberals? They're the ones who can't bring themselves to vote against Conservative government bills.

justschilling

quote:


Just a few points of clarification:
- The NDP is not the party that supports "uniterrupted Conservative governance". In fact, they're the ones ready to call an election to end it.

Really? Please explain how an election would achieve that.

quote:

- The NDP strategy seems to be
delivering so far. Whether we'll win a seat or two or ten or a hundred remains to be seen. But, at this point, I like Jack's odds of making gains better than Dion's.


I don't like the crystal ball approach to estimating numbers post election so I will refrain from guestimating seat allotments. That said, if the dippers stay on this tact, it is very likely the only gains likely to be found will be in spinning out the end trails of a disastrous electoral result. The old adage that being in the middle road will only get you run over from both directions is not entirely irrelevant in this scenario.


quote:

However, if you're seriously claiming that all Jack has to do is lay into the Cadman issue to make Stephane Dion Prime Minitser you're on crack.

Wow. I had to go back and reread the entire thread to try and find an instance where I might have even so much as left this type of impression and could not find anything remotely close to this outrageous claim.

quote:

It's not Jack's fault that the Liberals are a pack of backstabbing weasels with an empty suit as a Leader.

And its not Jack's fault that Harper is the Prime Minister.....

[b]"No matter how well designed our campaign had been, it would have been hard for us to win if the NDP had not held up its end,"[/b] Tom Flanagan concludes in Harper's Team, Behind the Scenes in the Conservative Rise to Power. [url=http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=06ea9c5d-4f08-431... citizen[/url]

[ 10 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

[ 10 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

[ 10 March 2008: Message edited by: justschilling ]

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by justschilling:
[b]I have to admit I don't often post here (for what are now obvious reasons) [/b]

quote:

You can be any kind of ass you like but please refrain from trying to fill my head full of sh!t.

You're clearly just here to troll. Bye.

Politics101

quote:


The NDP is not the party that supports "uninterrupted Conservative governance". In fact, they're the ones ready to call an election to end it.

Regrettably the last time they adopted a similiar policy against the Liberals we ended up with the current government.

Doug

Stephen Harper is Prime Minister because a plurality of Canadian voters wanted him to be - so there's where one ought to put the blame.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Politics101:
[b]

Regrettably the last time they adopted a similiar policy against the Liberals we ended up with the current government.[/b]


Maybe next time we will get the Liberals back but with more seats for the NDP as the voters get used to the Con/Lib Bay Street coalition.

Or maybe the Liberals will just fold their party and go away like they have in most countries. I mean who needs a party whose only principle is "we are the natural ruling party."

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

quote:


Originally posted by writer:
[b]Did you notice the name(s) attributed to the quotes? Job description(s)? Role(s) within the party? How important / respected / influential? Proximity to decision making, political approach, etc.?[/b]

It was probably Robin Sears. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

I was going to respond to Just a Shill, but I see he's left us.

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by justschilling:
I have belonged to the NDP for over twenty years, have never voted for anyone else and have never been as disgusted as I am today. Largely due to this "strategy" that other potential shills claim is not the actual "strategy."

But as continues responses appeared the veil started to slip,

quote:

Whats funny is that while you make this statement with tongue firmly planted in cheek, the basis of this claim is exactly what Jack should do. He should recognize the leadership vacuum on the centre/left and move to fill it by working with the libs and providing leadership to defeat the conservatives.

oh yah,I'm a long time NDP supporter

quote:

There is a very strong likelihood, as the polls have been indicating, that [b]Jacks party[/b] is facing decimation in the coming election based on the crux this issue presents.

And now the troll's face is totally revealed:

quote:

If you somehow think this strategy is going to deliver for the NDP versus the Conservatives you are sadly mistaken. And if you are satisfied with the prospect of gaining a seat or two (and I am not saying the NDP will) at the expense of uninterrupted Conservative governance then go ahead and fill your boots and buy yourself one of those fancy orange and blue ties I have seen around the necks of some new democrats.

Ah, orange and blue, did we change our colours recently???

[b]"No matter how well designed our campaign had been, it would have been hard for us to win if the NDP had not held up its end," Tom Flanagan concludes in Harper's Team, Behind the Scenes in the Conservative Rise to Power. ottawa citizen[/b]

Thanks to Michelle for putting "just shilling" for the liberal party out of his/her misery. I don't think he liked that Jack made international TV. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Forgot to add -- SWEET!

[ 10 March 2008: Message edited by: janfromthebruce ]

Politics101

quote:


I mean who needs a party whose only principle is "we are the natural ruling party."

Would that description not also apply to the CCF/NDP in Saskatchewan where they feel that they are the only party that can govern that province.

Or how about Derek Corrigan whose party has controlled Burnaby municipal politics for as long as I can remember.

This actually brings the following question to mind - should there be term limits in Canadian politics.

Bubbles

Michelle,

I think you made a mistake in dismissing justschilling.

justschilling said this:

quote:

You can be any kind of ass you like but please refrain from trying to fill my head full of sh!t.

in responce to writer writing this:

quote:

You are doing a mediocre job of misrepresenting what I write. I've got a bit of a reputation for being blunt assed.

writer called him/herself blunt assed justschilling just dismissed it as being irrellevant.

I fail to see why you called him/her a troll. It seemed like a good discussion. The NDP is not doing all that great in my opinion. Harper seems to be a quick study, the longer he stays the stronger he seems to get.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Bubbles:
The NDP is not doing all that great in my opinion.

You're entitled to your opinion, but you're still wrong. [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]

Bubbles

Boom Boom,

It would be nice if I am wrong, but the 40 some odd years that I have known about the federal NDP they have done little else than spin their wheels.

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