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Now it’s the NDP’s turn to get pounded in the media for ‘propping the Conservatives up’

With the news reports saying that the NDP has caved or is about to cave to the Conservatives and support the government (so much for the “real opposition” claims), the media has turned its guns on the NDP’s apparent show of hypocrisy here (after being so vocal over how many times they’ve voted non-confidence in this government). Here are a few quotes, courtesy of a Liberal press release:

“With the latest polls showing the Dippers in the basement of public opinion, Layton and his party will need all the help they can get. Will true love come to Jack and Steve? Stay tuned.” – Greg Weston, Sept 15, Kingston Whig-Standard

“NDP Leader Jack Layton, languishing at 12 per cent in this poll, could not have looked more uncomfortable if he had been wearing a dirty diaper as he tried to rally his troops ahead of the Commons comeback.” – Don Martin, Sept 15, Calgary Herald

The Reform-Conservative/NDP Coalition “leaves Layton with the soiled end of the stick. Saving face while derailing the election requires exaggerating what he winkled out of Harper while absorbing taunts that the NDP opposed Conservatives 79 times only to fold under pressure.” – James Travers, Sept 15, Toronto star

“Mr. Harper is not making it easy for Mr. Layton to support his program, repeatedly refusing to cook up a “backroom deal” – or a front-room deal, for that matter.” – Stephen Maher, Sept 15, Chronicle Herald

“For years, the New Democrats have been berating the Harper Conservatives, while chiding the Liberals periodically and unmercifully for propping up the government. The NDP even has a list of the number of times the Liberals voted with the government…Yet, what have we here? All of a sudden, the NDP, faced with the prospect of an election – and the possibility (probability) of losing seats – is sounding conciliatory and sniffing around for a possible deal with those awful Conservatives, the very strategy for which the NDP gleefully excoriated the Liberals month after month after month. No wonder the voluble Mr. Layton suddenly grew quiet.” – Jeffrey Simpson, Sept 15, Globe and Mail

“While Layton seemed to be grasping for a Conservative olive branch, it was far from clear the Conservatives were even extending it. Layton repeatedly pleaded with Harper during the Commons’ daily question period to commit to working with the opposition parties. Harper flatly ignored him.” – Jennifer Ditchburn, Sept 15, Canadian Press.

The Liberal Party got pounded in the media for a couple of years on their decision to abstain or only symbolically oppose the Conservatives on non-confidence motions, so we’ll see how the NDP folks enjoy being portrayed in this manner.

I don’t blame the NDP for this bit of strategy by the way, since they’re probably doing this for the exact same reason the Dion Liberals were doing their strategy of refusing to vote the government down – they simply don’t have the money right now to run an effective election campaign. But, I don’t ever want to hear again how the NDP always votes on principle and never based on political considerations/strategy. If Robert Fife’s report from last night is correct that they’re not only going to support the Conservative Ways and Means motion, but also not vote with the Liberals non-confidence motion at the end of this month, they’ve proved they are just a typical Canadian political party – which there is nothing wrong with being, but again, it shows how hypocritical the NDP has been/will be if they continue to claim how “principled” they are as a party as compared to other political parties.

7 comments to Now it’s the NDP’s turn to get pounded in the media for ‘propping the Conservatives up’

  • When is it the LIBERAL’s turn to get BEAT UP for ‘propping the Conservatives up’??

  • I have to say, now that the Bloc have stepped forward to support the Conservatives’ ways and means motion this Friday, the pundits look a little silly going after the NDP so heavily. News flash, guys: there are _three_ opposition players in this parliament, not two. If you really want to bring down the government, you have to work that much harder to ensure that all of you are on the same page.

    But I think this is a blessing for the Liberals. It was silly to treat this week as though it was the only confidence motion the opposition was going to get this session. Now the Liberals have the opportunity to write up a proper motion of non-confidence, to introduce during the first opposition day in October. _That’s_ when you lay down the reasons for toppling the Conservatives and going to the people, so we have an election on the government’s mismanagement of the medical isotopes issue, the shameful treatment of Canadians by the Department of Foreign Affairs, incompetence in financial forecasting, et cetera.

    In the meantime, let’s assess each piece of legislation as it comes down the pipe and vote for it or against it based upon their merits, or lack thereof.

    • @James Bow, Actually, no they don’t look silly, James. The BQ indicated 2 weeks ago they’d support the government on the Ways and Means. The non-confidence motion is another story ( see new blogpost).

  • IF the NDP votes confidence, it will be because the Conservatives have presented something that the NDP can support in principle without attaching a poisoned pill.

    Seems to me that’s quite a different thing that voting to prop up the government 79 times without getting any meaningful concessions and while pretending to oppose the specific measures you allowed through.

    So, if the NDP voting with them once in exchange for some tangible concession makes Jack Layton a prostitute (as you master Mr. Kinsella has suggested), what does it make the Liberals for having voted with them 79 times for nothing?

  • Nice try, Scott, but the Liberals were pounded for actually propping up the Conservatives while the NDP are being pounded for something they haven’t done. And if it doesn’t happen, none of the jackals doing it will every mention that.

  • Greg

    That’s what I love about Greg Weston, he never lets reality get in the way of making a point.

  • Gayle

    Fife said the NDP will support Harper so long as Harper treats Layton with respect. What are the chances of that happening?

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