The Layton intrigue

How many of the NDP leader’s demands does the federal budget have to meet to ensure its passage?


A month ago, Stephen Harper invited Jack Layton over for a chat. Afterward, the NDP leader listed five “proposals” for the federal budget:

1. Remove the federal sales tax on home heating bills.
2. Restore the EcoEnergy program.
3. Increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement to aid vulnerable seniors.
4. Strengthen the Canada Pension Plan
5. Improve access to family doctors.

According to various leaks and hints, it seems the EcoEnergy program will be renewed, some kind of assist for vulnerable seniors will be provided and student loan forgiveness will be offered to new doctors who choose to practice in rural areas. Depending on what else is included, that’s three (two and a half?) out of five and so whether or not the budget passes would seem now to depend on whether that’s enough for the NDP.

There is some question now as to whether Mr. Layton will announce a position today or tomorrow. I’m told no decision on timing has yet been made.

In the meantime, Rob Silver considers the long, meaningful history of the EcoEnergy retrofit program.


The Layton intrigue

  1. I haven't seen any mention of the Bloc lately, but my understanding was that an HST compensation has been reached in principle with Quebec. Would this not be something the Bloc would support, overriding all else?

  2. Budget leaks used to cost the Finance Minister his job.

  3. It is likely going to be brought out during an election campaign to garner Quebec votes : whatever works!!

  4. Harper and Layton are sitting back and playing good cop and bad cop with the Igster about to be sliced and diced in the middle. Let's face it folks all the big talk by Iggy and all the games in the House all boil down to the next confidence motion – this is the way it has, is and will be !!! since 2006 Harper has outplayed and outfixed the oppostion leaders in turn and already permanently reitred one liberal leader no doubt with a seocnd to follow say next year .. because folks that is when there will be an election not this year – the real reason is that why should harper and layton play by Iggy's calendar instead they can let the liberals walk their own plank and become irrelevant to canadians – you can see the trendlines in any poll that asks about leaderhip where Hasrper is way out ahead and then Layton with Iggy coming in down around Ms May

  5. You really need a cold shower.

  6. In New Canada rules, norms and procedures don't apply.

  7. And another Liberal plot bites the dust. Iggy is such an incompetent Leader. But Libs will not admit this. Instead they want to fight a laser war with a blunt instrument.

  8. Iffy is not good news for Canada, and Canadians know this Liberals know it.I have voted for both parties,I wont vote liberal again, until they have sat as opposition for awhile I would love to see the NDP as The OA!

  9. Since when.I remember Chretien leaks, so that has happened for some time

  10. Then why comment on it? Are you that terrified of people who dare to disagree with you? God.

  11. The comments suggest you are far too dismissive of the Liberal position. Perhaps le compte has a hidden agenda.

  12. The "no election until 2012" predictions are looking pretty good right about now I'd say.

    Still…it's going to be very interesting to see how this plays out between budget and (potential) confidence votes over ethics in the next few days.

    Looks like Harper will at least throw a bone out there to Jack in order to tout his ability to compromise and listen. Assuming the budget passes I really hope Harper doesn't try to outwit himself by pulling the plug on Parliament himself citing some sort of "dysfunction" or something over the ethics censure. IMO that would be a dumb move.

  13. I dislike Bolshie Babble.

  14. Not when its the minister doing the leaking. Most leaks these days are actually communications from the government.

    Yes, and this practice significantly predates the current government.

  15. If he gets the budget passed, why would he then turn around and pull the plug? Presumably, getting NDP support on the budget will also mean the contempt charges won't have the votes to pass. There will be a few provincial elections in the fall. So, we'll have another year of Harper rule.

  16. I'm sure any of these capitulations will be implemented by the CPC just as effectively as that Clean Air Act, EI extension, etc., etc…


    Who's your daddy, Jack?

  17. The Liberals old daddy?

  18. If Layton supports Harper, the NDP will lose many of its loyal supporters in the long run.

  19. His secret agenda? Why, his Lust for Power(tm), of course, which looks to be thwarted by his Evil Coalition(tm) partners in their own lust for power, in cooperation with the Harper Government(tm) which wants to maintain it's hold on power, which would never cooperate in a coalition, because coalitions are for losers.

  20. Bringing back the EcoEnergy is a very smart move, good on the CPC. It'll help a lot of people and the benefits far outweigh the costs (which aren't that high)

  21. Yes, but Chretien was good. Harper is evil. Remember, this is Wherryland.

  22. It seems to me that the Conservatives are looking pretty nervous about an election. Either their internal polling is showing something different than the public polling, or something else…another scandal…is likely to break during an election called this week.

  23. Don't you mean good on the NDP for making them do it?

  24. If his own polling data tells him he has a legitimate shot at a majority…there is some thought he might find another way to engineer the downfall of his own government should the budget pass.

    As I said…I think that would be a boneheaded move on his part…but it wouldn't be his first strategic blunder would it?

  25. I'm not sure I buy into that theory. My guess is that if an election is not held until 2012, Jack Layton will not be leading the party by then because of health reasons. Mulclair is the obvious heir apparent…and Jack's decision on this budget will be ancient history by that time.

  26. You know if I had a nickle for every time I heard the Conservatives were "scared" of facing Dion in an election I'd retire.

    Wishful thinking does not necessarily make for a good theory.

    If Harper was dead scared of an election right now he'd simply throw $2 billion to Gilles and guarantee the status quo.

  27. Are you invoking God for some reason, or subtly telling us that Emily is God? Unclear.

  28. I am sure that Harper is quaking in fear and cowering behind closed doors in case Iggy, Jack and Gilles actually decide to get over their poltical cowardice and vote him down . hahahahahaha – too funny – look you need to face up to reality here otherwise you are going to have to re-up those meds : Harper has, does and will have the other leaders over a barrel as long as they are divided – the only real alternative the oppostion parties have is a declared coalition and Harper has most brilliantly poisoned that well as long as the BLOQ is involved which given the current numbers it would have to be

  29. "Mulclair is the obvious heir apparent."

    So obvious I have a feeling he could lose a Dipper leadership race. I don't think his roots are that deep in the party (I could be wrong), he also practices a very polarizing style of politics.

  30. Hey AARON take this bit of news and shove your analysis where the sun don't shine!

    Conservatives Hold Six Point Lead on Liberals
    Download Release

    The latest Canadian Press/Harris Decima measure of voting intention reveals: Poll released today

    According to Harris/Decima Chairman Allan Gregg; “For all the breathless news coverage, we have very seen very little change in voter preference over the last three months. The Conservatives have been consistently somewhere between 5 and 10 points ahead of the Liberals; Ontario is too close to call; the BQ still dominates in Quebec; and BC is a competitive three party race. If all of this sounds familiar, it is because it is — these results look remarkably like the 2006 and 2008 elections. That is a long way of saying that — based on these numbers, and at the moment — none of the parties have any guarantee of improving their electoral position over the results of the last two elections. If we have a third election being precipitated later this week, it therefore will be a triumph of hope (or hubris) over common sense".

  31. I hadn't thought of that…but Quebec seems to have the biggest growth potential for the party. If Mulclair can convince the party he's the man to exploit it…that should be a pretty big incentive for them.

  32. Dude, this doesn't even come close to believable. Tell the interns at CPC HQ to work harder!

  33. Absolutely.

  34. ALRIGHT !!!!!!!! – we are gettying closer to going to the polls hahahahaha! one happy little Tory here attaboy Jack

  35. I don't think that a prime minister who has mastered a minority Parliament for over five years is in the habit of making what you call "boneheaded" moves or "strategic blunders. Again, it doesn't make sense for him to pass a budget, then pull the plug.

    His one obvious miscalculation was trying to withdraw public subsidies for political parties in late 2008. I think he clearly did not foresee the crisis that it generated with the prospect of an opposition coalition grabbing power. However, even so, the opposition overplayed its hand, and Harper recovered spectacularly. He's been in control ever since – perhaps until an election is forced later this week, with no budget passing.

  36. So now we know the Conservatives don't want an election…

  37. I'm unfortunately reading your nonsense, and hers. lol. Next.

  38. Actually, we know that the media had this whole "Jack is going to capitulate" angle completely wrong for about a month now.

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