It's not me, it's you - Macleans.ca
 

It’s not me, it’s you


 

Jack Layton tries again to explain himself.

In the end, as we debated whether we would support the $1 billion for the unemployed or give Harper the election only he and Ignatieff seem to crave, I kept coming back to the faces of the many people I’ve met who asked me to help them. For them, the financial support will make a big difference.

I feel anguish right now, but it has nothing to do with the criticism that has been levelled at us. No, it is that we haven’t been able to help more hard-working Canadians who are in need. It’s going to be a hard, hard winter for far too many of them.


 

It’s not me, it’s you

  1. This is beyond pathetic. The only face he has looked at is his own, and the only anguish he feels is the prospect of being discarded into the dustbins of irrelevance.

  2. Anonymity, you could almost say.

    • Touche. Yes. Good one.

      • Exactly. However, it would be a little bit of truth too to say that Layton should not be so scornful of the Liberals 'sitting on their hands' especially over the past year in their efforts to help the 'many people', the same people who were about to get no infrastructure spread around — ironic if not poetic.

  3. But he didn't support the stimulus package! So in terms of dollars voted for, to get money out to real hard working Canadians who are in need, the Conservatives and Liberals are are zillions ahead.

    • This billion dollars is *completely* different.

      • Right you are. This billion is to pay people to not work. The aforementioned zillions were (at least allegedly) meant to find ways for Canadians to get back to work. It remains, thus, entirely consistent that the NDP should support the former objective while shunning the latter.

      • I'm assuming all the hard working Canadians want jobs building stuff.

  4. Leaving aside the particular issue, if a politician had the choice between doing the thing they believed to be right and the thing that would help their party at the polls, I'd think it's pretty obvious they should do as Jack Layton did here.

    And Layton's choice is hardly inconsistent with his stated political beliefs.

    • Did you really mean to write "should" instead of "would" ?

      • Yes.

  5. Jack's rhetorical questions answered:

    (1) What will the other parties do? (2) Will our supporters agree? (3) Will a decision cause rifts? (4) Can it be communicated clearly? (5) Will we be pummelled by the pundits?

    1. CPC – gloat; LPC – mock indignation; BQ – shrug.
    2. Some will, some won't.
    3. Absolutely.
    4. Clearly? Maybe. Convincingly? No.
    5. Yes, mercilessly and deservedly so.

  6. Jack Layton may be hurting inside, but at least he is showing a bit of realism. It may actually help the NDP in some circles if they can demonstrate a sense of reality. If not, at least they live to fight another day.

    • Didn't their refusal to even read anything before opposing it create their own sense of reality for the past eight months?

  7. Jack knows that the other two opposition parties want far more in the way of improvements to the EI program than he is diddling with at this moment.
    By voting against the government on Thursday – he guarantees that that wider exercise will begin within 36 days – with the CPC margnialized- rather than ragging the puck – as it will for months – while he continues this support!
    Silly!

  8. I've never understood why politicians continue to talk about certain things long after they should have stopped talking about them. All they do is give their opponents more opportunities to whack them.

    • I'm reminded of a sign I once saw hanging in a shop:

      "Samson slew a thousand Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass. Every day, a thousand sales are killed the same way."

  9. In other words, only we the NDP are looking out for the common good, unlike the other major parties who are cynically out for political opportunism.

    Right. And now I have to go practice my pious statesman face in the mirror, if you'll excuse me.

  10. In other words, only we the NDP are looking out for the common good, unlike the other major parties who are cynically out for political opportunism.

    Isn't that what every other party says.

    And now I have to go practice my pious statesman face in the mirror, if you'll excuse me.

    By all means, you're excused to do so.

  11. Like hotdogs, Layton's positions are best consumed without attention to their ingredients.

    • That seems to work for a sizable portion of the Canadian electorate, for some reason.

  12. I think a more interesting line from Layton's article is:

    For us, though, the real question is how to use political leverage responsibly when you have it.

    Of course it leads to obvious and cynical questions like, 'why start thinking responsibly now?' – but it is intriguing and perhaps encouraging that Layton is thinking in this manner. Even if it is betwixt excuses. The realization that he does have some political power in the current mix should be foremost in his mind. He has a great opportunity here if he can keep a rein on the impulse to attack every utterance of an opposing party. The challenge for the NDP is to realize some actual gains from this power when they really haven't any experience wielding any.