Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tour Gratuit


On Sunday, I lamented that this election campaign was still lacking a defining storyline. Given the polls today, it's safe to say we finally have it.

The NDP surge is one of those surprises that maybe shouldn't be too surprising. After all, there have been thousands of attack ads aired against Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper over the past year, and apart from a few cameo appearances in coalition commercials, no one has dared lay a finger on Layton. He's been able to get his message out unopposed - with Jack being more popular and a better politician than either Harper or Ignatieff, it shouldn't be surprising that voters have responded to it.

On top of this, the NDP are big enough to be taken seriously, but not a big enough threat for power to be taken too seriously. Yeah, their platform is full of holes, but they'll never be in a position to implement it, so all that really matters to voters is that Jack wants to give more money to seniors, hire more doctors, and cut the cost of home heating fuels. Let the Prime Minister worry about how to pay for it.

Given the sudden reality that the NDP are serious players in this election, it's only fair to start taking them seriously. There's now a real possibility the NDP will come out of this election with 60-80 seats, with close to half of them coming from Quebec. So what kind of "table de cuisine" issues will these NDP MPs be fighting for?

Well, for starters:

1. In the debates, Layton promised to open the constitution to create "winning conditions" for federalism in Quebec. It's unclear what this means...so maybe it's time someone asked him, eh?

2. We've had several stories about quasi-separatist NDP candidates in Quebec, and there has been some switching back-on-forth between the two camps. If the NDP start electing place holder candidates across Quebec, we can likely expect that a few of them might hold extreme views. Now might be the time to take a serious look at just what kind of NDP team Jack will be bringing to Ottawa - maybe Mario Dumont can offer advice on how this might turn out.

3. Jack Layton was against the Clarity Act in 2004 and for it in 2006. It would be good to know where his Quebec team stands on the issue today.

4. Jack Layton supports extending Bill 101 to federal jurisdictions.

5. The NDP have cozied up to fringe separatist groups in Quebec.


Now, some of this isn't any worse than what the other parties have done. After all, it wasn't all that long ago that the co-founder of the BQ was Paul Martin's Quebec lieutenant. And, despite some of the jabs above, I actually do think it's a good thing for Canada if the NDP can finally squash the temporary ad hoc rainbow coalition known as the Bloc Quebecois.

But it's only fair that voters in Quebec, and in the rest of Canada, know where the party stands before casting their vote for them. A little clarity from Jack would be appreciated.

Labels: ,

55 Comments:

  • Ipsos has Layton ahead of the Liberals... nationally!
    http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=5218

    Take it from somebody who lived in Ontario between 1990 and 1995 - the questions you are asking are all very good ones. So far Layton has gotten away with a significant repositioning of the NDP on the centralization<--->decentralization spectrum. He has escaped scrutiny because such questions tend to be more central in Quebec politics than in the ROC. However, the ROC is very good at getting mad about perceived giveaways to Quebec (eg. CF-18s, Meech and the unpopularity of official bilingualism).

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 7:21 PM  

  • 1990. Ontario.

    That is all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:27 PM  

  • It really doesn't matter what the NDP did or did not do. The Liberals let the Conservatives take over the center right spot without so much of a fight. Then they realized that they were going for the same voter so instead of taking the Conservatives head on, they decided to move left. Well, now Liberals and the NDP are fighting for the same vote and the Conservatives are sitting back and reaping the benefits. Until the Liberals go back to being the Liberals of old, they'll spin their wheels while the NDP keeps climbing. Oh yeah, having a credible leader also helps.

    By Blogger Prairie Kid, at 7:29 PM  

  • A little clarity from Jack would be appreciated.

    Jack has been very clear. You, self admittedly, just haven't paid attention.

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 7:33 PM  

  • Robert, okay, what is his position?

    The Star cites that Layton supports a 50% plus one vote. So, I suppose he's opposed to it right now.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 7:41 PM  

  • Some other things according to the article that Layton supports:

    "It backs forcing all Supreme Court justices to be bilingual. It backs applying Quebec’s language law, Bill 101, to federally regulated businesses, like banks, in Quebec. It backs maintaining Quebec’s proportion of seats in the House of Commons regardless of population changes."

    The bilingual justices isn't so bad, but keeping Quebec's proportion seats regardless of population changes is a bit... much.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 7:42 PM  

  • Ipsos has Layton ahead of the Liberals... nationally!
    http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=5218


    The most depressing point is that Harper is now in majority territory.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 7:53 PM  

  • The LPC created this coalition mess,
    now you have to live with the results.
    Those are the rules, as Ignatieff and Rae said.

    By Blogger wilson, at 7:59 PM  

  • sharonapple says: ...keeping Quebec's proportion seats regardless of population changes is a bit... much.

    It's been a lot of years since my PoliSci courses, but hasn't that been a long-established (possibly constitutional) principle dating back to Lower Canada days?

    (Odd aside, my captcha is "sessecin". Am I supposed to think "secession"? Is this a subliminal hint about something?)

    By Blogger Don, at 8:04 PM  

  • For fun (I'm a huge nerd) I ran those Ipsos numbers in the UBC voter migration matrix, using the regional breakdown in each successive province (trying to make reasonable assumptions about where people are migrating from/to). Here is what I got (lots of caveats apply, obviously):

    Total (excluding the north)
    CPC: 177
    NDP: 52
    BQ: 35
    LPC: 40
    IND: 1

    BC
    NDP: 13
    CPC: 23

    AB
    CPC: 28

    SKMB
    CPC: 25
    NDP: 3

    ON
    CPC: 64
    NDP: 20
    LPC: 22

    QC
    NDP: 11
    CPC: 13
    LPC: 15
    BQ: 35
    IND: 1

    ATL
    NDP: 5
    CPC: 24
    LPC: 3

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 8:08 PM  

  • 2004 -- Harper, Duceppe, and Layton. It wasn't that long ago.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 8:10 PM  

  • @sharonapple Tradition or not, it's blatantly unfair to have greater representation than warranted by population.

    As a British Columbian who knows how to count senate seats and thus knows how we've been constitutionally screwed on that front, and is now watching while his province's growth is not being recognized with MP seats, I could never accept anything that extends the unfairness to an even greater degree. And, I suspect I'm not alone with that sentiment.

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 8:19 PM  

  • Robert, okay, what is his position?
    The Star cites that Layton supports a 50% plus one vote. So, I suppose he's opposed to it right now.


    See, you just haven't paid attention. The choice is not between the red door and the blue door. There is another choice. Layton and his predecessors have been saying that for decades.

    So the choice is not between clarity act--yes or clarity act--no. There is another choice; reopen the constitution and bring Quebec in from the cold.

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 8:19 PM  

  • sharonapple says: ...keeping Quebec's proportion seats regardless of population changes is a bit... much.

    Don: It's been a lot of years since my PoliSci courses, but hasn't that been a long-established (possibly constitutional) principle dating back to Lower Canada days?


    The seats are distributed via population. It's preducted that Quebec's population will decline, which is one reason they'd want something like this.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 8:20 PM  

  • Apologies to sharonapple, it was Don's post that I was responding to.

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 8:23 PM  

  • I'll take Jack in OLO, sure. Enough of the red-blue seesaw.

    He's no loopier or dishonest than Harper or Ignatieff... and it'd be GREAT to have a CHANGE in Ottawa.

    If this buzz keeps up the next week, I'll probably vote for his local candidate.

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 8:24 PM  

  • Apologies to sharonapple, it was Don's post that I was responding to.

    No problem. I was too.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 8:31 PM  

  • So the choice is not between clarity act--yes or clarity act--no. There is another choice; reopen the constitution and bring Quebec in from the cold.

    Given the result of attempting exactly this with Meech and Charlottetown, why should there be an expectation of things turning out any differently the next time? What has changed that provides for the possibility of success rather than abject failure?

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 8:33 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 8:52 PM  

  • Robert McClelland said... See, you just haven't paid attention. The choice is not between the red door and the blue door. There is another choice. Layton and his predecessors have been saying that for decades.

    So the choice is not between
    clarity act--yes or clarity act--no. There is another choice; reopen the constitution and bring Quebec in from the cold.


    I'm not saying that I have a can-don't attitude, but what's going to be different this time around?Layton? His pitch sounds a lot like Mulroney's... and I think Layton will have as hard a time juggling everyone's demands. To amend, you need the approval of two-thirds of the provincial legislatures (at least seven provinces), representing at least 50% of the population.

    Good luck with that.

    And some of the language... bringing Quebec in from the cold.... I'll quote something from Bastards and Boneheads by Will Fergueson.

    "In Canada, the 1982 patriation of the constitution, with the charter of rights and full political independence it implies, is soulfully remembered not as a triumph, but as a defeat. Instead of uniting us, it has become yet another Moment of Division in our national history.

    "Why? Because the province of Quebec refused to acknowledge the legitmacy of the 1982 Constitution Act, insisting that it was forced ont hem against their will. This is one of the Big Lies of modern Canadian history. Rene Levesque, Quebec separatist premier at the time of patriation, would never have approved of any constitutional agreement. Trudeau knew this, and Levesque knew that Trudeau knew. Hence, the conscious decision on Levesque's part to portray the 1982 act as a "betrayal." This assertion is simply not true. If anything Quebec "forced the Constitution on the rest of Canada. Consider: in 1982, the prime minister of Canada was from Quebec, the minister of Justice was from Quebec, a third of the Cabinet was from Quebec, 74 of 75 MPs from the province were members of the party, and all but three of Quebec's federal MPs approved the deal. And even with the separtists in power provincially, a full 60% of Quebec's electected representitives--federally and provincially combined--supported the Constitution Act."

    I hope people would read Ferguson's chapter on Meech before playing around with this.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 8:57 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 9:02 PM  

  • Given the result of attempting exactly this with Meech and Charlottetown, why should there be an expectation of things turning out any differently the next time?

    There is no expectation or guarantee of success. But to paraphrase JFK, we don't do it because it is easy, but because it is hard. We do it because it needs to be done.

    The clarity act is not a solution, it is a bandage. Bringing Quebec in from the cold is a solution.

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 9:06 PM  

  • Jim R: Given the result of attempting exactly this with Meech and Charlottetown, why should there be an expectation of things turning out any differently the next time? What has changed that provides for the possibility of success rather than abject failure?

    Good question.

    But I don't think Layton has any real desire to do anything about this. It's one of those issues that he knows he'll get votes on.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 9:09 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Vive la Fédération, at 9:15 PM  

  • "It's been a lot of years since my PoliSci courses, but hasn't that been a long-established (possibly constitutional) principle dating back to Lower Canada days?".

    Short answer: no.

    The Representation Act, 1985 guaranteed that no Province has fewer seats than it had in 1976 (or during the 33rd Parliament). This "Grandfather Clause" brings Quebec's seat count up from 68 (which they earned by their population in 2001) to 75.

    http://elections.ca/scripts/fedrep/federal_e/repform_e.htm

    Clauses like this undermine the principles of Representation by Population (a principle which is already difficult enough with some ridings having an extremely large land area).

    By Blogger Paul, at 9:27 PM  

  • There is no expectation or guarantee of success. But to paraphrase JFK, we don't do it because it is easy, but because it is hard. We do it because it needs to be done.

    And why does it need to be done? Does the Charter stop working when you're in Quebec? Wasn't Bill 101 brought in via the notwithstanding clause? Here's something the Globe & Mail
    noted:

    "This promise was reckless and dangerous at every level. First, Quebec is legally part of the Canadian Confederation. Second, by using the phrase “winning conditions,” he’s borrowing a loaded expression from the Parti Québécois, whose leaders always vow to create “winning conditions” for secession.

    "Third, every responsible Canadian leader must know that, after the traumas of patriation, Meech Lake and the Charlottetown accord, the Constitution is the most divisive issue in Canada. To suggest reopening it, without the slightest idea of how to proceed, what to discuss or even a plausible reason why, represents the depth of political irresponsibility."

    Bah! I hope this is re-opened and it ends up exactly like Charlottetown -- everyone gets a piece of the pie, and everyone resents the fact that everyone gets a piece of the pie.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 9:31 PM  

  • And why does it need to be done?

    How can we truly be one nation when nobody truly believes we are one nation.

    Why does fear of failure paralyze you?

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 9:39 PM  

  • The NDP Surge is easy to explain, here's a link explaining it

    The author of that piece is a total genius when it comes to politics, in my opinion.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:00 PM  

  • How can we truly be one nation when nobody truly believes we are one nation.

    Why does fear of failure paralyze you?


    No one believes we're one nation? Realy? And does anyone believe that this new constituion will change anything? As far as I remember, the country was never as divided as when we went through Meech and Charlottetown.

    And it's not fear of failure that stops me. It's the politicizing. I'll point to what Ferguson wrote and I'll note that the Supreme Court of Canada noted that the Constituion aplies to all of Canada.

    But if we're really going to do this... let's see what the plan is to get it amended. As noted earlier, you need the approval of two-thirds of the provincial legislatures (at least seven provinces), representing at least 50% of the population. What's the plan?

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 10:02 PM  

  • While you raise good points, this train has left the station. No question Layton is going to be the next leader of the opposition.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 PM  

  • I'm sorry, but it is seriously stupid to just say "let's open the constitution". Last time we did that we almost lost Quebec.

    I like the NDP, but if this is an example of their simplistic view of the way constitutional change is done then I think we are better off with Harper.

    Oh my god. Did I just say that?

    By Blogger Gayle, at 10:22 PM  

  • But if we're really going to do this... let's see what the plan is to get it amended.

    It's unreasonable to want a blueprint during an election. Such a thing would take immense planning from a government with lots of resources at its disposal, not a party with few resources at its disposal and no money to waste on an idea that could only be implemented if they form a government.

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 10:33 PM  

  • Time for some new poll soup CG?

    We've had what 5 polls in the last 24 hours, that's good enough for some new projections to satisfy us no?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:38 PM  

  • It's unreasonable to want a blueprint during an election. Such a thing would take immense planning from a government with lots of resources at its disposal, not a party with few resources at its disposal and no money to waste on an idea that could only be implemented if they form a government.

    If it's a campaign promise, don't you think it's reasonable that the public have some idea of how this will go? Otherwise, it's as good as promising every voter a million dollars, or saying you'll get rid of income tax.

    And did you know, Quebec isn't the only province that was "railroaded" into Confederation. Nova Scotia was pulled in by Charles Tupper. Manitoba... various rebellions in the late 19th century. There may have been tampering during the referendum of 1949, which brought Newfoundland into Canada. Maybe we should go in an examine all of these cases while we're re-opening the Constitution. :P

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 10:59 PM  

  • Please. Anyone can promise to reopen the constitution when there's no chance they'll be elected. Now that that things are changing you can't ride on "let's talk about the how later". Layton has a responsibility to disclose his plan.

    That said, when he does not live up to his promise for constitutional change Layton will finally learn it's a lot harder to be accountable when you actually have to be, you know, accountable.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 11:01 PM  

  • Layton has a responsibility to disclose his plan.
    Gayle, I agree.

    I'm for a lot of the NDP's policies, but re-opening the Constitution... no, please no, I'd vote for the NDP if they said they'd never touch it.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 11:20 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Vive la Fédération, at 11:36 PM  

  • Robert - Well, there you go. Layton wants to scrap the Clarity Act and reopen the constitution. That's fine. But I doubt anyone outside Quebec is aware of these positions.

    All I'm saying is NDP policies should be put under the same scrutiny other parties have been. Yet no one outside Quebec has asked a question about Jack's Quebec positions to date (except for the Jeff Simpson article).

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:38 PM  

  • Why does fear of failure paralyze you?

    It isn't "fear of failure" to stop grabbing a hot stove with your bare hands after you've been badly burned not once, but twice. It's called "learning from experience".

    Look, in theory, I think bringing QC fully into the constitutional family's a great idea. That's why I supported Meech and Charlottetown, back in the day. But if you're going to promise to re-open that issue, even with the best of intentions, you'd better have a solid plan, *and* you need something in place to deal with the fallout if those efforts fail.

    Which leads us back to where we started: if the NDP wants to go that route, and if, god forbid, it goes pear-shaped - do they support the Clarity Act's rules, oui ou non?

    By Blogger Jason Hickman, at 12:06 AM  

  • Robert McClelland: We do it because it needs to be done.

    No, it doesn't. The constitution does not need every province to ratify it to be in force - nor should it.

    Layton is trying to fix something that isn't broken. That's exactly the same folly Mulroney tried, and (combined with the blunders of his successors) it nearly broke up the country.

    PS- If Quebec really is upset about not being a signatory to the constitution, then then should just go ahead and sign it right now, as is. No changes needed.

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 1:44 AM  

  • I have a question for Robert Mc:

    If Jack becomes PM are you guys going to lower the age of consent to 14? Would you push it down to 12?

    By Anonymous Worried Teenager, at 8:31 AM  

  • I think NDP support is way overstated (in terms of FPTP results) but exaggerated or not, it has more to do with the Liberals than the NDP.

    Prairie Kid has a great point on the Liberals abandoning the center-right vote - and that forces the Liberals to fight the NDP on the left.

    And, no offense to Liberals, their record (left-wise) is nothing to be promoting. Those ghost of Trudeau doesn't have the cahce it used to. They've got as much modern credibility on health care and daycare and social programs as the Ontario NDP has on auto insurance. If you're the federal Liberals and going to fight on the left, there's a 50 percent or greater chance you're gonna lose that fight. This may (or may not) be one of those times.

    I think people close to the Liberal party underestimate the amount of emotional baggage their party has, deserved or not. Every party has their haters and their partisans, but the Liberals, intentional or not, have taken many sectors of the vote for granted over the past 20-30 years, and that's starting to come back to haunt them a bit - on both sides of the political spectrum.

    By Anonymous Marc from soccer, at 9:15 AM  

  • If it's a campaign promise, don't you think it's reasonable that the public have some idea of how this will go? Otherwise, it's as good as promising every voter a million dollars, or saying you'll get rid of income tax.

    Or promising national child care. In some form or another, since 1970.

    I mean, come on guys

    By Anonymous Marc from soccer, at 9:20 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 10:19 AM  

  • Or promising national child care. In some form or another, since 1970.

    In 1993, there was a plan, but the provinces backed out of it. They didn't want to match the $720 million the Feds were going to pay for the program.

    There was a serious plan in place in 2006. Martin even signed deals with the provinces in 2005 for it. When the Conservatives were in power, they scrapped the deal. End of childcare.

    Yeah, so there's that.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 10:21 AM  

  • (Of course the provinces wouldn't match it when the feds were cutting their budgets! Would you agree to buy a more expensive house when your income is being cut?)

    Exactly Sharon, more than 30 years after it was first promoted (and approx 20 years of Liberals in power) there still is still no lasting policy or program in place.

    My point here is not to debate Liberal party history with Liberal party members.

    I'm just trying to point out that the "you don't have a credible plan" line of attack is not a strong point for the Liberals at this time.

    By Anonymous Marc from soccer, at 10:51 AM  

  • Exactly Sharon, more than 30 years after it was first promoted (and approx 20 years of Liberals in power) there still is still no lasting policy or program in place.

    There would have been one if the Conservatives didn't cancel it in 2006. And if the economy was better in 1993, we might have got something back then.

    It's not easy to establish a national program. See the path to health care. In 1946, Sask started their program. In 1948, the feds stated health acts. In 1957, Diefenbaker started a national care program. Ten provinces signed on by 1961. Universal under Lester by 1966. It took years. And as far as I know, this was during a period of fairly steady economic growth from Canada (derriving this point from the U.S. economy during this period).

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 11:15 AM  

  • I'm just trying to point out that the "you don't have a credible plan" line of attack is not a strong point for the Liberals at this time.

    Fine, but as a Canadian citizen, I think it's fair to say that I want to see a plan if we're thinking of re-opening the Constitution. And it's got to be something Multonry and Trudeau didn't do. It's a hard process, and if we're going down that road, it's not insane to ask the driver where he's going.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 11:20 AM  

  • That's fine, as an elector that's your right, but electors haven't pressed for plans in elections and the Liberal track record on plans is terrible - GST, free trade, social spending, daycare, etc. And that becomes an issue if they're trying to position themselves in traditional NDP territory (which, I think they'll still manage to do successfully, by the end of the election.)

    And I agree, it's not easy to start a national program. But it's been done where the commitment has been there. Quite successfully, too.

    And where the commitment isn't there, the arguments degenerate into a bunch of

    - but if...
    - but if...
    - but if...

    You know what party that sounds like? The NDP. ;)

    By Anonymous Marc from soccer, at 11:46 AM  

  • I think it's time to pitch the whole thing in the garbage. The design of the current forms of government in Canada provincially and federally does not work anymore.

    Strip the provinces of their provincial governments, eliminate the duplication between the Federal and provincial levels, and at the same time eliminate all internal trade barriers, so that there are only two levels of government. Municipal and Federal.

    Then elect MP's based on a proper proportional population representation, instead of a PEI'er getting 4 votes to my 1 here in Alberta.

    Stick in a triple "E" senate to balance regional needs, and outlaw political parties so that there is no hierarchal coercion or party whips.

    Make every one of the buggers run as an independent, with zero commercial or union campaign donations... all monies private.

    You want legislation passed; the majority has to like it in an independent vote.

    Then to make certain we get only the most dedicated people seeking to lead, make the candidates put all of their net worth into a fund indexed to how the nation performs while they are in office. Government does well, and they make money, government does poorly, and they lose money.

    That would quickly change a politicians and more importantly a Ministers attitude to how the bureaucrats are spending tax payer dollars.

    The nation cannot survive another hundred years if we don't cease living as 10 separate states.

    Give me a politician with the balls to work towards that sort of reform, and he or she has my vote.

    By Anonymous jJoe Calgary, at 11:51 AM  

  • And I agree, it's not easy to start a national program. But it's been done where the commitment has been there. Quite successfully, too.

    It takes time. Even in Saskatchewan, Tommy Douglas campaigned for health insurance in 1944. It took three years to install hospital insurance in 1947 for much of the population, but they didn't get full medical until 1961. A full seventeen years.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 1:26 PM  

  • You know when you promise women a national child care program for 20 years and not deliver even with 11 billion dollar surpluses, well we stop believing what you have to say.

    Thing is, the Conservatives never promised women a national child care program for 20 years. The Liberals did.

    Warren (Chretien PMO) says that campaigning from the left and governing from the right is what Liberals did and should have done in this election. Interesting, I call that lying to the electorate.

    I also don't think it wins you any points when you want to merge aka take over another party on the left, like they would be interested.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:27 PM  

  • jJoe Calgary has a point: Why try to tinker with a fundamentally flawed document rather than just start with a clean slate?

    Furthermore, since the constitution describes and limits the powers of both federal and provincial governments, it makes no sense at all that politicians be responsible for determining their own responsibilities.


    IF we're going to look at Constitutional Reform, it makes sense to create a Constitutional "Congress", made up of, say, 5 to 10 members elected from each constituency, but independantly of party affiliations. The various segments of the Constitution would be considered first by smaller subcommittees, then presented to the Congress as a whole for ratification. The next step would be for the currently sitting parliaments and assemblies to endorse it, then put it to a binding referendum...in which even the current amending formula could be used.

    Clearly not perfect, but a start?

    By Blogger Party of One, at 12:56 AM  

  • Yup, seventeen years. Starting with concrete steps and making slow but measurable and incremental progress. Hell, they pretty much broke a doctor's strike to do it. And the Liberals couldn't come up with childcare in the face of tax cuts and surpluses... If the commitment was there and serious, it would be on its way. But it wasn't. No more but ifs. It's all about commitment.

    Warren (Chretien PMO) says that campaigning from the left and governing from the right is what Liberals did and should have done in this election. Interesting, I call that lying to the electorate.

    I think that's what they have done but so far it's not working although that may change next week

    By Anonymous Marc from soccer, at 8:11 AM  

  • If the commitment was there and serious, it would be on its way. But it wasn't. No more but ifs. It's all about commitment. And the Liberals couldn't come up with childcare in the face of tax cuts and surpluses...

    Yes, 1993 was a banner year in terms of government revenue. There was a $42 billion deficit. Even in Ontario, when the NDP took power, the recession was enough to cause them to be unable to implement their promises when they were in office.

    Still, the plan in the redbook in 1993 was to give $720 million for childcare over three years with funds being matched by the provinces. The Liberals pitched the idea, but the provinces nixed the deal.

    In 2004, there was the groundwork for a new plan, no cost-sharing, which the government managed to get the provinces to sign in for $5 billion over five years. This plan was canceled by the Conservatives.

    That's the saddest part of all. There was a plan, one that would have worked, but it's gone. (The Conservative replacement actually costs the government more money than the childcare plan by the Liberals).

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 11:26 PM  

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