Monday, October 17, 2005

I'd Also Like A Pony

Jack Layton has made his list of demands for continued support of the Liberals. Smart move on his part since it allows him to get the NDP message out and either:

a) be seen as relevant
b) distance himself from the Liberals

depending on how the Grits react. The conventional wisdom is that the Liberals want to wait as long as possible for a vote in order to put some distance between election and the Gomery report. I'm sure they'd also love to see Ralph deliver a pre-election budget full of goodies. We also know that Harper doesn't want to bring down the government without NDP support, for fear of looking like he's an election crazed separtist co-conspirator. Add it all up and Layton should continue to be the centre of attention.

As for his list of demands, it appears he's kept them vague enough so that he can say the Liberals either accepted them or rejected them no matter what they do. Once again, likely a smart move.

7 Comments:

  • For some reason the CBC has said these are very 'specific' demands, whereas you rightly say they are vague.

    - Demonstrate support for public health care and stop what the NDP calls increased privatization.
    meaning what exactly?

    - Take action on climate change.
    other than implementing Kyoto as thye are doing now I don't see what the government can do. Not that I agree with Kyoto, it's pointless if the US is not on the game.

    - Get the U.S. to address the softwood lumber issue.
    This is the most specific of them. What Martin needs it the US to remove the import duty. Unconditionally. This should be a moral point.

    - Protect workers' pensions.
    How?

    - Address ethical issues.
    which are?

    Looks like Jack Layton is the best thing to happen to the NDP in a while. I would have preferred these demands
    - some sort of ranking on the ballot (see Australia)
    - why immigrants' job skills are not recognized after they come here, when they come here BASED on those skills
    - our increasing closeness to the US in term of immigration and security policy.

    By Blogger mezba, at 9:17 AM  

  • "- Demonstrate support for public health care and stop what the NDP calls increased privatization.
    meaning what exactly?"

    Uhm, mean getting the Liberal government to actually DO SOMETHING, like say a First Ministers meeting on the issue. so far its been resounding silinces and business as usual since Chaoulli.

    "- Take action on climate change.
    other than implementing Kyoto as thye are doing now I don't see what the government can do. Not that I agree with Kyoto, it's pointless if the US is not on the game."

    Well, then this one ought to be easy to meet. I'd be interested to know the specifics of "implementing Kyoto" - that statement is at least as vague as this one, if not more so.

    "- Get the U.S. to address the softwood lumber issue.
    This is the most specific of them. What Martin needs it the US to remove the import duty. Unconditionally. This should be a moral point."

    And the NDP has some very specific ideas and plans, like announcing the implementation of a excise duty on oil going to the US in order to force them to comply.

    "- Protect workers' pensions.
    How?"

    By passing or adopting an NDP private members bill that says workers pensions are protected and payed out as part of any bankruptcy. Currently only other business interests can get a piece of bankrupt company to re-coup their losses, not the worker's pensions. It also protects workeres from unscroupulous business owners and CEOs from using the pensions funds to prop up the company and spending it.

    "- Address ethical issues.
    which are?"

    Right here:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20051014.wedbroad1014/BNStory/National/
    The highlights include:

    — MPs should not be permitted to change parties without resigning and running in a byelection.
    — Election dates should be fixed and held every four years.
    — Reforming the electoral process by combining proportional representation with the current first-past-the-post system.
    — There should be spending limits and transparency conditions on leadership contests within political parties.
    — Tougher laws to end unregulated lobbying and political cronyism.
    — A fair process for government appointments to end unfair and unethical patronage practices.
    — Better access-to-information legislation to make government more transparent.

    Specific enough? You see it talks about Proportional Representation as a better system, more legislated government openness via the Access to Information Act etc.

    I will agree with you on these:

    - why immigrants' job skills are not recognized after they come here, when they come here BASED on those skills
    - our increasing closeness to the US in term of immigration and security policy.

    but the first part of the list is a pretty comprehensive one. Maybe this could be next in the Spring session or the new Parliament.

    By Blogger Mike, at 10:35 AM  

  • QuebecHarpermaniac says on Kyoto:

    1) Mezba: "pointless if US not in the game." ==> trying to think long term on this, isn't it equally pointless if the 2nd largest importer of oil (China) is not in the game?

    2) Doesn't the east-west power grid project worry anyone? This is a massive waste of money that will do nothing for greenhouse gases.

    Shouldn't we actually cut emissions? Not move around where they are being emitted?

    I guess I'm a crazy, hidden agenda type because I believe things should actually WORK.

    PS. Jack is so full of crap. As if he gives a shit about his demands. He wants a little limelight, but soon enough, he'll be back to helping Martin and his cronies spend up the surplus with packs of gum and jet-setting limo drivers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:49 AM  

  • Jack Layton is at least as relevant as Ralph Goodale is. And it's not like we haven't seen random policy statements at odds with the government coming out of a finance minister's mouth before. See: Martin/Iraq/'01.

    By Blogger matt, at 11:26 AM  

  • Mike,

    I agree that something needs to be done about healthcare. My concern is why do we have a shortage of doctors, nurses (which leads to longer wait times for consultation). There's lots of immigrant doctors, nurses here. Speed up their license process.

    The idea of implementation of a excise duty on oil going to the US in order to force them to comply is splendid. I don't think Canada's government (whichever party is it) will have the guts to implement it though.

    By Blogger mezba, at 12:02 PM  

  • Canadians elected the Liberals. If jack Layton wants to blackmail the government, he should ask the NDP to make the government fall and run for the top job himself. So much for parliamentary decorum...i guess the poll numbers are back. Liberals won't be blackmailed...its ridiculous

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11:55 AM  

  • "If jack Layton wants to blackmail the government, he should ask the NDP to make the government fall and run for the top job himself."

    Or if PMPM doesn't wish to be blackmailed, he could do the same thing himself, couldn't he? I suspect, Antonio, that when PMPM caves in to Jack! you will see it as a 'great example of Liberal pragmatism.'

    Dean

    By Blogger deaner, at 12:43 PM  

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