Jack to the Rescue?

Jack With Con Flunkies

Hmmm. Just when it seemed that another supremely pointless fall election might be inevitable if the Liberals actually carried through on Michael Ignatieff’s solemn vow to withdraw his party’s support from the Harper minority government, along comes Jack Layton and the NDP to prop them up instead.

The NDP could save the Conservative government from a fall defeat if the Tories make strides to boost pensions, slay bank and credit card fees and help the unemployed.

Senior New Democrats suggested the 36-member caucus could save the country from an unwanted fall vote if Prime Minister Stephen Harper agrees to support key NDP priorities.

Well, who could blame him, really? It’s certainly not as if there’s any love lost between Layton and Ignatieff after the Liberal leader rejected the idea of a coalition government once he had unseated Stéphane Dion and seized control of the party in December.

I suppose if such a scenario comes to pass, everyone wins — or at least the politicians. For the NDP, if they manage to wring some concessions out of Harper in exchange for their support it’s certainly more than they would have likely accomplished otherwise and it provides them with some much needed legitimacy; a quality that’s been somewhat lacking of late, as the party demonstrated at its lacklustre convention recently.

In addition to the obvious plus of carrying on governing, Harper likewise benefits bolstering the NDP’s legitimacy, thereby constraining the Liberals by keeping the left split. Besides, the NDP “issues” in question wouldn’t exactly be difficult concessions for Harper to make (who would object to slaying bank and credit card fees or boosting pensions?) and may in fact be quite popular.

As for the Liberals, the move would relieve them from hastily launching into a disastrous fall election unwanted by most voters, while at the same time liberating them over the course of the fall and winter to demonstrate some integrity and act like a proper opposition party for a change.

The change of Harper’s dance partners is almost a little too neat perhaps, but maybe that’s being overly conspiratorial…

Update: Scott Tribe provides a video clip in the comments from Dave Rutherford’s CHQR radio program this morning of Jason Kenney quite predictably disavowing that the Conservatives would enter into any kind of arrangement with the NDP. (Did you seriously expect him to admit the Cons would be happily consorting with the dreaded socialist horde?) It’s titled “Kenney smashes any dreams of NDP avoiding an election.” Well, I’m unconvinced about that as his remarks left plenty of wiggle room to suggest otherwise. He certainly didn’t conclusively rule out the possibility of some horse-trading or tacit deal-making in the future (presuming it hasn’t already occurred… didn’t Layton meet with Harper quite recently for private discussions of some kind — what was that all about?)

Meanwhile, Ignatieff issued a statement today about his “clear decision” to withdraw support from the Harper government and possibly force an election, remarking that “It’s up to the NDP to decide, I can’t decide for the other parties.” And, via Warren Kinsella comes this remarkably mature, thoughtful take on the situation:

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32 Comments

Filed under Jack Layton, NDP

32 responses to “Jack to the Rescue?

  1. Ti-Guy

    Kakistocrats Gone Wild!

  2. Jason Kenney just slammed the door shut on that notion:

  3. sapphireandsteel

    well if Fred Flintstone said it…

  4. Dean

    It’s funny that now Harper will have to rely on a coalition with the socialist commie NDP and traitorous separatist Bloc in order to save himself.

  5. sapphireandsteel

    yeah it brings a whole new meaning to the term social conservative.

  6. Ti-Guy

    As if “Conservatives” can be shamed by dramatic inconsistency.

  7. sapphireandsteel

    well they’d have to be able to spell and comprehend “dramatic inconsistency” first.

  8. S&S — “Collusion” — yes, that’s precisely what I was suggesting. Good word for it. I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

  9. Scott — I’m not sure if Fred Flintstone, er, I mean Jason Kenney saying “I don’t think…” exactly constitutes “shutting the door” on the possibility of some tacit degree of co-operation whereby the Conservatives agree to move forward on some of the fairly non-controversial issues being advocated by the NDP (some of which Flaherty himself has supported in the past, but done nothing about) in exchange for backing on confidence votes from the Dippers.

  10. Kenney was speaking with Rutherford (partisan extraordinaire) to his wing nuts in Alberta.

  11. Sorry, but the photo of Layton makes me laugh – the deliberate pose, jacket slung over his shoulder – he never met a camera he didn’t like.

    There’s a reason people in Toronto call him “say anything Jack”.

  12. @RT: I’m not sure how NDP core supporters would take that ‘tacit degree of cooperation’. Either the NDP votes with the Conservatives, or they don’t. What matter is how much Harper is willing to give them for their consideration. My guess: one rats’ ass.

  13. TRN — It is politics, after all and the bottom line is about getting things done for “working families” and “average Canadians”… no? That has been the NDP line in the past when they’ve gotten into bed with the Liberals to get their legislative agenda advanced. I think most Dippers are quite used to this and many don’t even see it as a problem, which is why I said it gives them back their legitimacy as “agents of change” working within the system and all that…

  14. Clown Party

    Dean said, “It’s funny that now Harper will have to rely on a coalition with the socialist commie NDP and traitorous separatist Bloc in order to save himself.”

    Strange coming from a LIEberal. Didn’t the LIEberals want to form a Governmant with the same parties? There is no denying that Biffy signed the agreement and Canadians will probably br reminded when election is called.

    I hope that Biffy and the LIEberals cause the Cons to fall just so we can vote for independment candadates – since the Green Party, Non Democradic Party, LIEberals and Conservatives do not want to work together. [Actually it is working with the LIEberals as back-benchers to the Cons.]

    It will be a great election if Biffy has the will to follow through. If he fails, then DeYawn will look better than Biffy as leader of the OPPOSITION [as in: not in power.] Just hope that the NDP do not attack both the LIEberals and Cons. They do want to be the official opposition and do not have to win to many seats from the LIEberals to do it.

    By-the-wawy’ when are the LIEberals going to pay back the money stolen from Ad-scam as promised – just asking. It would sure improve their popularity to Canadians, but I will not hold my breath. The LIEberals are not known to keep promises – I voted LIEberal once when they said that the GST would be abolished/changed – never trusted them again.

  15. Check the IP address on that one.

  16. sapphireandsteel

    Boob?

  17. I still don’t get the “Biffy” reference to Ignatieff, unless it’s an attempt to leverage off the lame “Iffy” name that CPoC hacks like “Wilson” were pushing, but that never caught on.

    As for the IP# it’s some jerkwad in Calgary. Dick Evans maybe?

  18. sapphireandsteel

    I find this site very effective when looking up IPs

    http://www.ip-adress.com/ip_tracer/

  19. Interesting. That one shows it as being in Vancouver.

  20. CWTF

    And, via Warren Kinsella comes this remarkably mature, thoughtful take on the situation:
    Given that the Liberals have been supporting the Connies…. The liberal brain trust seem to have the maturity of a bunch of 8 year olds…

  21. I have to say that taken on its face, the Liberal position at this juncture makes absolutely no logical sense whatsoever. And by that, I mean it’s completely incoherent. Perhaps if Ignatieff could illuminate us lowly peons with exactly what he would do differently to make things “better” I might be inclined to change my mind, but as it stands, simply calling everything the Conservatives have done a “failure” doesn’t provide a lot of motivation for people to entrust him with the reigns of power I wouldn’t think.

  22. Grammin

    I think Iggy is blowing smoke. His party would only negligibly benefit from an election, if at all and I actually think Harper has some kind of point in saying that an election would delay the so-called stimulus monies (which the Libs demanded)
    So what is Iggy’s point? The EI issue is a non-starter, his fortunes are not rising in Quebec (and decreasing in ON), and he is stagnant at 2-4 points above where Dion took the LPC .
    I think Layton could hurt the Libs by winning concessions from Harper and possibly hasten Iggy’s inevitable exit from politics in this country.
    I think this is all Jack can hope to achieve, and he may make the Libs look like a-holes in the process.
    Lets see how this plays out………………

  23. Grammin

    These concessions could see the NDP make some vote gains in ON and the Atlantic provinces and perhaps split the left to the point that the Libs are in no-man’s land. My best-case scenario is another strong Con majority and a graceful exit by Harper to allow for Prentice to take the reins. If this occurs, Ignatieff is euchred and will not see office (thank Christ!)

  24. CWTF

    And by that, I mean it’s completely incoherent. Perhaps if Ignatieff could illuminate us lowly peons with exactly what he would do differently to make things “better” I might be inclined to change my mind, but as it stands
    And then popped out Jason Cherniak…..

    The Connies and the Liberals seem to be running some kind of parallel stupid. Harper and his minions are rather low but I’m wondering why Iggy and his supporters want to emulate that level of disconnect.

  25. sapphireandsteel

    “My best-case scenario is another strong Con majority?”

    Another? Could you please inform us as to where the first Con majority is?

  26. Okhropir rumiani

    Hmm, the shape halfway between the NDP maple leaf and a chicken… is Quebec!

  27. Grammin

    haha meant strong “minority” (seeing as this the only way to get Harper replaced by Prentice)

  28. sapphireandsteel

    You really think two PMs from Alberta in a row Grammin? That’s sort of like lightning striking in the same place twice. I think Prentice is far too shrewd to make himself another Paul Martin. Plus there are far more stupid members of the CPC that are greedy and blindly ambitious enough to hold the bag that is Stephen Harper’s accomplishments. Jason Kenney, now he is that greedy and stupid.

  29. sapphireandsteel

    and from Alberta but his ambition and self-centredness should do for CPC leader

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