Friday, April 20, 2007

What does Jack want???

It seems to me, there are three possible scenarios in which Jack Layton could find himself after the next election (in order of likelihood today):

  • Jack Layton as leader of the third party in a Tory minority.
  • Jack Layton as leader of the third party in a Liberal minority.
  • Jack Layton as Leader of the Official Opposition in a Tory majority.
Jack needs to decide which scenario he wants.

Right now, the third option is pretty unlikely, and involves the Liberals losing right-leaning Liberals to the Tories ("If Jack Layton can work with Harper he can't be that bad, and this Dion guy is too lefty for me") and on the left to the NDP ("Jack says there's no difference between the Tories and the Liberals, so I'll vote NDP"). Unfortunately, this also seems to be the scenario Layton is gunning for. Work with Harper, trash the Liberals. Harper ends up looking reasonable, and not so far out (if Jack Layton can work with him...) and Dion ends up looking insincere (Dion's no different from Martin, he'll change his spots if he becomes PM...).

As someone who voted NDP the last two federal elections, I hope Jack changes his mind. If he doesn't, I hope he doesn't succeed. NDP increases will seem a pretty hollow victory after a couple of years of a Stephen Harper majority.

I fear Layton's plan is to save Canada by letting Harper burn it down. What's worse, I question whether Layton even sees it coming.

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Sean Shaw said...

Not sure what you want the NDP to do, FYI there is more then Layton to the NDP.

Maybe the Liberals should get their shit together instead of it falling to the NDP....

Yes, the NDP is working with the Conservatives on some issues, that is what happens in a minority, that is what would happen in a PR-based are the Liberals and BQ (both who have supported the Cons on confidence motions)....

Of course you go after the Liberals if you are the NDP, you are far more likely to sway votes from them over the Cons....welcome to FPTP governments, glad you could join us.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Answer the phone.

I'd be happy if Jack'd answer the phone.

The Jurist said...

LKO: I notice that you've left off the absolute worst-case scenario, that being NDP as third- or fourth-place party in a Con majority. And that outcome is far more likely if Layton throws in his lot with a Lib campaign which gets outmaneuvered by Harper - whereas an NDP that stays independent has a far better chance of winning enough seats to keep the Cons to a minority even if the Libs implode.

Steve V said...

The third option isn't even an option. "Highly unlikely" is really "impossible", so Layton should proceed with the first two possibilities in mind.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...


I guess, in a way, I was trying to get into Jack's head, and I don't think he sees a Tory majority with him still in third place coming (frankly, if I'd added that as an option, today, I'd probably have put it at #1, given my view that the election won't happen for a while now).

I think Jack's actions are explained by the fact that he feels he can help the NDP gain ground by destroying the Liberals and vaulting past them. I think he smells blood in the water. And frankly, I think he thinks a Tory majority is a small price to pay for a second place finish. The resaon I don't see this as the WORST case scenario, is that I think the Liberals could still bounce back to take the Tories down if thy're the official opposition, even in a Tory majority. If the NDP are the official opposition in a Tory majority, I think that majority will last a long time.

janfromthebruce said...

Displacing what one hold within themselves seems to be going on here. The notion that the NDP is trying to destroy the liberals to gain ground, is displacement. Particularly what I have seen around progressive bloggers for the past week, and the actions of the libs and greens politically, shows who is out to try to destroy who here.
Coyne in the NP and Hebert in Torstar had it right. Anyway, good try.

Aeneas the Younger said...

Same old story ...

The NDP continues to fight the Liberals, rather than the Government.

We have seen this movie before, as the Liberals (and at one time the PC's in Ontario anyway ...) move Left and displace the SD vote.

You would think a man like Layton (a poly-sci instructor) would get the message after all these years.