Joe Comartin's straight-talk express - Macleans.ca
 

Joe Comartin’s straight-talk express


 

The NDP MP does not sound particularly enthused about the government’s EI legislation.

Windsor-Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin says an Employment Insurance bill tabled by the Conservative government Wednesday doesn’t live up to the way it was characterized by the human resources minister. “I guess my initial reaction is what’s not in it,” said Comartin of the bill, which was tabled in the House of Commons at around 3:30 p.m. after parliament was disrupted by an anti-seal hunt protest. “We just don’t see how they claim it will cost $900 million and benefit 190,000 people.”


 

Joe Comartin’s straight-talk express

  1. Aaron, I think we need a minutes-to-midnight election/doomsday clock on macleans.ca. I think this means we edged a minute or two closer.

  2. Please tell me this does not mean an election.

  3. I think it's pretty clear that the NDP don't want to go to the polls on this one at least — they'll probably push to change it, with government consent, in committee.

  4. Joe Comartin … Windsor … auto industry … CAW … crumbs … hmmm.

  5. Do the Conservatives need the support of every NDP MP to pass this legislation/keep the confidence of the House?

    • No. Assuming that all the elected MPs from all parties show up for a vote, the government only needs 11 opposition MPs to vote with them in order to reach the 50% mark.

    • No. Assuming that all the elected MPs from all parties show up for a vote and all the government MPs vote for the government, then they only need 11 opposition MPs to vote with them in order to reach the 50% mark.

    • Hmmm, I'm replying to a comment that isn't here. Charles H. kindly informed me that presuming all elected MPs showed up, the Conservatives would only need 11 other MPs to vote with them.

      So, to the reply: Is it possible that the NDP and Bloc have done a "back-room deal" such that neither one of those parties completely supports the government, but nor do they have complete non-confidence in them? I'm not sure that this would do anything for the Bloc, but I can certainly see it as a good strategy for the NDP.

      • (Regarding the non-appearing comment: IntenseDebate has a few bugs, and that's sometimes one of them.)

        Anyway, I doubt you'd see that. If I'm understanding you correctly, there are really two ways that you could have something like that happen, and both result in terrible publicity.

        One is for some MPs to vote with the government while others vote against. In that case you'll likely get news reports about caucus revolts, and how the NDP can't control their members. The other option is to have enough MPs skip the vote so that the government has enough votes even if every present opposition MP votes against them. Dion tried this tactic, and to say it worked out poorly for him from an image-perspective would be an understatement.

        • It happens to my posts often enough, I've just never had to reply to one before.

          But isn't the conventional wisdom that Canadians (this Canadian at the very least) want our MPs to listen to their constituents over their party leader? I'm sure you can find an NDP MP where its plausible his constituents would want "MPs to stop screwing around and get to work already" as well as another MP where his constituents want him to "Get Harper the hell out of there". No matter what Layton decides, the NDP is screwed, so why not make a big thing out of letting each MP make up their own minds — not a caucus revolt, but a caucus each listening to those that matter the most. I'm sure you could spin that to the good.

          • But many in the media would present it as a caucus revolt, simply because that makes a better story from their perspective.

            (About half of my comments routinely disappear, too)