Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Jack Layton's sinister mind control experiment

Let's start with a few quotes from some Liberal MPs, shall we?

"The NDP has already betrayed Canadians by trading our national child care program for 10 more seats."
-- Ruby Dhalla, Question Period, April 25th
"Last November, the NDP traded off a national child care system for their own short-term partisan gain."
-- Ralph Goodale, Question Period, April 25th
"Had the NDP not sold out, they too might have [called for the full implementation of the Kelowna accord]."
-- Anita Neville, Question Period, May 3rd
"Clearly the NDP abandoned our students in return for 10 seats." (translation)
-- Geoff Regan, Question Period, May 3rd
"The NDP sold out to a government that has no plan to create new child care spaces."
-- Carolyn Bennett, Question Period, May 3rd
"The NDP abandoned children in November."
-- Bill Graham, Question Period, May 4th
Trade. Betray. Abandon. Sell out. That's an awful lot of power the Liberals are granting to the NDP. But how exactly did a party with only nineteen seats do all these horrible things? Did they pull out some arcane parliamentary regulation that caused the Liberals to be banished to opposition without an election? No, they voted against the Liberals in a confidence motion--along with two other opposition parties that had far more seats--and sent them back to the voters of Canada.

No matter how you take it, this is a pretty outrageous line of reasoning. Instead of stomping my feet and whining right back, though, I'd like to take it at face value, and dissect its implications.

Implication 1. The NDP is responsible for the installation of the current Conservative minority government.
This first implication is pretty clearly contained within the above statements. And while it's never stated explicitly whether the NDP should bear this burden alone or together with the other parties, you might well notice that the Liberals aren't saying the same kinds of things about the Conservatives and the Bloc. When taken together with that fact, then, there are several other secondary implications here:
Implication 1a. The NDP isn't a political party in its own right; it's a somewhat more left-of-centre extension of the Liberals.
The purpose of the NDP isn't to represent the leftist ideals of the people who vote for them--it's to be the Liberals' lapdogs and do their bidding. When they fail to do this, they are not just worthless, but also evil.
Implication 1b. The Conservatives themselves are absolved from any culpability, both in terms of pulling the plug on the Liberal government and in terms of what's going on in their government now.
Even though the Conservatives also voted against the last government in a confidence motion, even though it's the Conservatives themselves who're sitting on the government side of the aisle and doing all these things the Liberals hate--it's still all the NDP's fault. Because Tories will be Tories, after all, but the NDP, well, they're supposed to be on the Side Of Good.

But never mind what this line of thought implies about the other parties. If we dig a little deeper, we find that it implies far more ridiculous things about Canadian voters:

Implication 1c. The rather large number of Canadians who had previously voted Liberal but who made a different choice this time weren't acting under their own free will.
Apparently they were all in Jack Layton's thrall. They were mesmerized by the moustache, beguiled by the bald. Even the ones who changed their votes to the Conservatives, or to the Bloc--it was all part of Jack Layton's master mind control plan. Mwahahahaha.
Implication 1d. The Liberals know better than the voters do about what's good for Canadians.
Perhaps we should stop having elections at all, and simply install a Liberal majority government in perpetuity. Think of all the taxpayer dollars we would save!

There's another major set of implications here, though, because the Liberals can't successfully pin the blame on somebody else without absolving themselves. Which brings us to:

Implication 2. The Liberals are not at fault for their election loss.
That in and of itself would be hilarious enough, but contained within that are two other secondary implications, namely:
Implication 2a. The sponsorship scandal, the income trust scandal, and a poorly run national campaign were so unimportant as to be meaningless.
and
Implication 2b. The Liberals have a right to govern, even when they screw up over and over again.
Whether this right is divinely inspired or simply awarded them by Queen and Constitution is left as an exercise for the reader.

In all seriousness, though: Wouldn't it seem more, well, reasonable to try and win back their wayward voters--people who stomped off in disgust because they couldn't support what they saw as a tired, corrupt party--by convincing those people that they're no longer tired and corrupt? By saying: "We were on the wrong path, but now we're on the right one. Look at the embarrassment of riches that is this Liberal leadership race. No matter who wins, we're going to come back stronger, and with a vision, and we're going to win the next election." Isn't telling those voters that they simply didn't know any better, and that the issues that caused them to change their votes never really mattered in the first place, and that there are no real choices in a country where the Natural Governing Party should always be in charge exactly the wrong strategy to take if they want to win them back?

If they think they're going to convince anyone but the most die-hard Grits with these kinds of statements, then they're far, far more inept than I'd ever imagined.

10 comments:

The Jurist said...

Excellent post. I will, however, add implication 2(c): the exact same group of Liberals which lost power in the actual campaign would have achieved a substantially better election result in a campaign run in an election following the release of the second Gomery report, such that it was solely the government's fall in November that resulted in the Cons taking power.

Steve V said...

It's counter-productive for the Liberals to constantly blame the NDP for their problems. An equal waste of time is Layton's inability to utter two sentences without referencing the Liberals. Maybe both parties should make a pact and target their venom to the real threat. You have to know that Harper laughs himself to sleep while everybody fixates on destroying the other guy's credibility.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Jurist,

Excellent addition, and excellent point.

Steve,

I hate to say it, but you're right about that. I'll defend the NDP's right to attack the Liberals during an election until the cows come home, but the fact is, we're not in the middle of an election. Right now, the enemy of both parties has to be the guys on the other side of the aisle who are providing them with plenty of points to fight them on.

Dana said...

Jack's got dark stars in his eyes.

He and his sycophants have come up with this inevident notion that a sudden migration of millions of Canadian voters to the NDP is immininent. Based on intelligence provided them by the CIA no doubt.

Dangerously delusional gobbledygook.

Maybe he can split a few more votes away from the Liberals, Harper can have his majority and Jack can really have some self-righteous, shocked and appalled fun.

For the NDP to have a shot at official opposition status they would need to nearly triple the highest number of seats they've ever won in their history.

Hey, wanna buy a bridge?

VW said...

"If they think they're going to convince anyone but the most die-hard Grits with these kinds of statements, then they're far, far more inept than I'd ever imagined."

And this is news to you?

The changes that the Grits need to undergo are going to be painful, acrimonious, and inadvertently illuminating. It means a lot of the senior people are going to have to be relieved of their posts, being too tainted by the culture of entitlement. It means a lot of debate about policy that will turn off the average voter and open up a lot of opportunity for media mischief. It means leadership candidates will be required to have their abilities -- not to mention their egos -- questioned and punctured to their own detriment. And because it is painful, the temptation will always be there to do only the most superficial changes.

But voters will not reward the superficial. Paul Martin found that out, twice.

The examination process has to be painful for the Grits, out of necessity. It will be up to them to accept the pain either as birth pangs or death throes.

Joshua Kubinec said...

Thank you for posting this. This is brilliant!

Liberal Fortunes said...

Excellent post, the Liberals are really in a bad shape. I think blaming the NDP is a desperate effort to save its own fortunes. I have dedicated a blog, with the only goal, to prove the Liberals in trouble for the next election.

I base the blog on numbers, rather than pure emotion.

freshly_squeezed said...

I'll take a running leap onto the bandwagon: great post, Ippie!

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

freshly squeezed,

Oh, my. Now that's a nickname I hadn't heard before! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that even if the NDP HAD voted with the Liberals, the independants still voted against, so the government STILL wuold have fallen?

How is this the NDP's fault again?