Jackmentum!

If the latest EKOS poll is to be believed, it seems that Jack Layton will be the next leader of the Opposition with a 100 seats to his credit. Heck, if he teams up with the Liberals to form a “reckless coalition” that Harper has relentlessly warned about through the campaign, he could even be the next Prime Minister!

As humiliating as such a projected outcome may be to diehard Liberals, I wouldn’t actually consider it to be such a bad thing. At last, the federal NDP would be held accountable for their votes in parliament.

Being elevated to the role of Official Opposition in a minority government scenario would likely impose some very awkward and compromising decisions on Mr. Layton and his party, especially should the Liberals decide to enjoy the newfound liberty that would be afforded them in such a situation by adamantly rejecting the Con’s proposed budget and any other confidence motions that happen to come down the pike, thereby firmly placing the onus on the NDP to prop up the Harper regime lest they precipitate an unwanted election.

And who knows… Such an outcome may even lead to more serious discussions about forming a Liberal Democratic Party at some point in the future.

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23 Comments

Filed under 2011 Canadian Election, Jack Layton, Liberal Party of Canada, NDP

23 responses to “Jackmentum!

  1. I agree about Layton finding himself in the hotseat regardless of being PM or official opposition – a lot of compromising his principles will be in order – he might even have to join Harper in forming a coalition LOL

  2. Don’t get me wrong. I like Jack and agree with much of the NDP platform. But over the years I’ve grown a little tired of their righteous sanctimony and would like to see what they do when put in the “hot seat” as you so aptly describe it.

  3. CWTF

    Amusing how they are projecting that half the NDP seats would be from Quebec… If it happens, it would be just another reason for the ROC to hate Quebec…

    I find Jack to be too smarmy (or righteous sanctimony as you call it), too bad Mulcair is not their leader.

  4. mushroom

    If these are the results on Election Day, Layton could declare Harper’s government dead on arrival, once Parliament has convened. He would have the opportunity to form a coalition with the Liberals without relying on the Bloc for support.

    Get ready to have Thomas Mulcair as Finance Minister and Paul Dewar as Foreign Minister. No way the Grits will get more than six Cabinet posts.

  5. Mushroom: If they go along with such an arrangement, that is. It would be a rather charming irony for the Liberals to defer, be resolutely opposed to the putative government and allow Harper’s Conservatives to negotiate with the NDP to work things out. Now that would be fun to watch!

  6. Given the history of the other two main parties, I find the expression “righteous sanctimony” ironic, amusing, and unbelievably hypocritical. What people really mean by righteous sanctimony is standing up for real people in real life situations rather than standing up for a corporatist agenda as the Liberals and Conservatives have both done.

    The fact is that in an atmosphere of corporate media and 30 years of relentless neo-liberal ideology the deck is already irretrievably stacked against any NDP success in government. The media and the corporations that own it would do anything to fight against a fair tax system or a proper social democracy. Furthermore, if the NDP were to ever find themselves in a minority government position it would become clear pretty quick that it is the Liberals and the Conservative that are the real candidates for a party merger, for they are much closer together than the NDP and either one of them. Do people not read history, just look at the records, particularly on environmental and foreign policy issues.

    People just need to be better observers of history!!

  7. Kirby: I have lived from time to time in provinces with NDP governments. Their lofty rhetoric and idealism doesn’t necessarily hold up all well to the light of day. Just sayin’… you know, as an observer of what is, rather than what is imagined.

  8. Though I do see considerable NDP momentum in the campaign, in no way do I believe a seat-projection that predicts 50 NDP seats in Quebec. The biggest positive that will come out of the constant NDP reporting is that more and more Liberals may jump ship, park thei vote elsewhere, or not vote at all. I predict further bleeding and the Libs being left with a bare-bones contingent of MPs in the 54-58 seat range. A man can dream………

  9. Gayle

    “Don’t get me wrong. I like Jack and agree with much of the NDP platform. But over the years I’ve grown a little tired of their righteous sanctimony and would like to see what they do when put in the “hot seat” as you so aptly describe it.’

    Agree.

    “The fact is that in an atmosphere of corporate media and 30 years of relentless neo-liberal ideology the deck is already irretrievably stacked against any NDP success in government.”

    If this is the case then the NDP should be up front about it during the campaign, instead of making promises they may believe they cannot keep.

  10. CWTF

    I find most NDP supporters ideological simplistic and, as Layton as demonstrated in the past, rather pliable to maintain a semblance of power.

    I’d be amused to see the relative extremes of Harper/Layton try to govern Canada. Clusterfucks and hilarity would surely ensue…

  11. CWTF

    Grammins, I’ve look at some seat projections for the NDP in Quebec and frankly many “wins” for them make little sense. You have barely present candidates trumping strong BQ holdings.

  12. All the hoopla about the NDP “surge” maybe just what’s needed to galvanize and motivate Liberal voters… We’ll see soon enough.

  13. LMA

    This feels like a breath of fresh air blowing through Canadian politics and clearing out the Conservative fog of lies and hate. Reminds me of growing up on the Prairies and listening to all the talk about the emerging CCF/NDP. Thank God there was a lot of lofty rhetoric and idealism around in those days, or we wouldn’t have public healthcare today.

  14. CWTF

    Healthcare was driven in large part by a strong leader with a vision… Jack? Not so much…

  15. LMA

    It was also driven by a leader with a genuine empathy for the concerns of the “little guy”, and I think that is a huge factor in Layton’s popularity.

  16. tofkw

    Grammins, you’re right 50 is unlikely. But the NDP are polling at over the 40% mark in Quebec, and the CPC or the LPC could potentially come in second behind the Bloc yet before May 2nd. The BQ are in freefall. I can’t see how this can’t translate into seats for the NDP, and not out of the realm of possibilities for the distribution to end up being something like: NDP-37, BQ-16, CPC-11, LPC-10, Ind-1 (Total 75).

    Still a week to go, and things are too fluid right now to make any accurate predictions. But I will say it’s looking quite possible now that not only will Quebec prevent a Harper majority this time around, but may even be the driving force of sharp left swing that knocks Harper out of the PM’s chair.

    Bonjour Québec,
    Nous saluons le retour de votre voix dans notre politique fédérale. Vous ont été manqués.

  17. CWTF

    I think that last time Quebec voters prevented a Harper majority, nothing new there. As for leaving federal politics, they never did.

  18. I have no problem with social democracy, but that’s not what the NDP stands for. They stand for populist bullshit policies that don’t pass the most cursory of smell tests. Their credit card policy is nuts, their pension policy would be disastrous, their plan to hire doctors hilarious. These are deeply unserious people with deeply unserious, and damaging, proposals. I find myself hoping for the same thing I usually hope for during elections, that the winner immediately throws away all their principles.

  19. tofkw

    Well put Shiner. The NDP is indeed all these things and more, you left out what would be occupying their chairs in parliament. To see what a hypothetical NDP government would look like, one need not go further than the Bob Rae Ontario administration of 1990.

    Now I actually liked Rae as premier (also Mike Farnan as solicitor general & Floyd Laughren @ finance was at least competent) but the rest of them were a group of ex-social workers & poly-sci dropouts that should have never been ministers. And it just got worse in the backbenches. There were literally 20-something poly-sci students elected!

    After that it was no wonder Ontario swung hard right with Mike Harris …twice! And the best the NDP has even done since is to garner 10 seats in 2007, before then they didn’t even win enough to obtain official party status. This is what happens after the NDP is suddenly called on their policies.

  20. tofkw

    CWTF wrote: As for leaving federal politics, they never did.

    A strong argument can be made that voting for the Bloc has disengaged Quebec and removed their voices from the national dialogue for almost 20 years now. You need to elect federalist parties if you want a say in how that federation is shaped. Saying “gimme, gimme, gimme or we’ll hold a referendum” is not the way to go if you want a strong voice in shaping our federal institutions.

  21. CWTF

    tofkw, while I understand your line of reasoning, the Quebec voice has always been present.
    We had the Liberals who had many Quebec members and Harper who added Senators and various other persons of interest.

  22. It is interesting to think of the power shifting here: would an NDP official opposition really have more power than a 3rd-place LPC? Perhaps we might not get an NDP-LPC coalition government.

    Then again, Harper is not about to go bargaining with the LPC — his vision of Canada is a two-party system with the “conservatives” on the right and “socialists” on the left; a prospect that benefits his clan at the expense of centrists.

    The LPC could ask for the Finance portfolio and even Environment. Would Jack comply? What would be the result if he didn’t?

    The 2011 LPC leadership race is going to be wild — that is for sure. And we’ll see a slate of candidates and visions for the party more bold and exciting than we saw in 2006. Jack might not be able to get the job done and could prove to be a governance disaster. And the day the LPC withdraws their support would pit the LPC, GPC and CPC against the NDP not on principles but a track record of governance. Something they have never had to do before. Advantage in that debate goes to the CPC, unfortunately. However, hopefully by that point we’ll have a palpable leader and less rabid CPC… I mean, while we’re dreaming why not go off the deep end, eh?

  23. tofkw

    However, hopefully by that point we’ll have a palpable leader and less rabid CPC… I mean, while we’re dreaming why not go off the deep end, eh?

    In fact dylan, I am hoping – though I doubt it will occur – that the CPC recognizes all the centrist votes out there for grabs with this possible NDP surge and LPC demise. This gives them to opportunity to elect a centrist Tory leader like Jim Prentice or Bernard Lord, and close the door on the Reform past. If they could just bring in some actual fiscal conservatism without the firebrand populism and half-hidden social conservatism – that would be a party I could not only vote for, but even donate to.

    That would be a dream – to counter my fear – that this leads to the permanent demise of the last centrist party in Canada, and we become entrenched with two diametrically opposed left/right parties of populist bullshit.

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