Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Jack's world

I'm not generally one to go all hyper-partisan on you folks and shout it from the rooftops every time Jack Layton ends up in the media. I mean, even if I felt inclined to do that, which I don't, there are party mailing lists for that sort of thing, right? But today I'm impressed enough that I'm going to embarrass myself by doing just that.

First, there was Layton's appearance on
CPAC's Prime Time Politics on October 26th, where he came across as pragmatic and smart. The interview lasted twelve minutes and covered everything from the possibility of a spring election to Afghanistan to specific pieces of legislation like the Clean Air Act, the Accountability Act, and the crime bills. It even contained a believable response to the question: "Realistically, where does the Conservative ideology train and the NDP ideology train--where on those tracks do those trains ever meet?" But most importantly, it felt natural. That's right, an entire twelve minutes without even a touch of that artificial air that he often gets when the camera is trained on him. I almost cheered.

Then came today, and this news story about Layton being willing to a) talk to Harper about possible improvements to the Clean Air Act that might bring the NDP closer to supporting it, and b) face a spring or even a fall election if the Conservatives don't start being willing to remember that they're in a minority parliament. This is the way the game is played, folks. Even Conservative blogger Greg Staples and Liberal blogger Far and Wide have a grudging respect for the guy this week, while über-Liberal Jason Cherniak is spinning, spinning, spinning.

[By the way, I listen to the CPAC shows on podcast, and it was already in MP3 form on my computer, so it was easy enough to save the Layton interview excerpt for anybody else who wanted to hear it. Feel free to nab it from here.]


Kuri said...

Yeah, I've seen a lot of spin on this two, including those using phrases like "deal with the devil" - a little hyperbolic if you ask me.

I think (or I hope anyway) I'd consider it remiss of Jack not to talk with anyone and everyone (especially the Prime Minister) about climate change.

Berwitchlynn said...

That's the nature of Cherniak, isn't it? Constant spinning, like a non-stop top...

Rumor said...

Echoing Kuri, it seems to me that this is what a minority government is supposed to be about. If there had to be only one thing in the NDP's favour, it's that they, more than any other of the big parties, know how to compromise and negotiate with the other parties. No doubt that's because of their position in Canadian politics, but good on 'em.

bza said...

Layton has seemed to have grown into the role over time and has dropped some of his earlier media flashiness people have often attributed to him.

Anonymous said...

Yup, Say Anything Jack is now Do Anything Harper wants Jack.

As if this wasn't set up by Harper and Layton - give me a break.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


Lemme guess...the colour of your tinfoil hat is Liberal red?

conniedurser said...

actually jack would never slide to doing anything that harper wants,,,,the idea that it takes the ndp to strong arm the neo cons into doing something about climate change lets me know that the ndp is far stonger than folks think,,,that, and a lot more realistic about the dreadfull position that we are in with our world,,,i only wish that he had gone further with this and toppled the cons anyway,,,,,far too american for this frost bitten canuck,,,,,,,,,,

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