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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Jack Layton is requesting equal time today; will he be demanding it tomorrow? And is the anti-Harper coalition showing early signs of weakness?

In a letter sent today on behalf of New Democrat leader Jack Layton to Troy Reeb, Senior Vice-President with Global News, senior NDP staffer Anne McGrath made the request that “each of the three leaders of the opposition in Parliament receive equal time and treatment to address the people of Canada on [the Global News] broadcast network this evening, following the 7:00 PM statement by the Prime Minister.”

(Source: Download jack_layton_letter_to_global_news.pdf)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be addressing the nation tonight, with time allotted by the networks only to Liberal leader Stephane Dion to respond.

The NDP letter is interesting for two reasons.

First, while Layton is requesting equal access today, left-of-centre corporate media critics believe media access should be a legal entitlement. Consider the deeply flawed Moon report to the Canadian Human Rights Commission recommending that the media be compelled to provide a balance of viewpoints, or the demand of the Muslim complainants in the human rights case against Maclean’s Magazine to access to editorial pages, or the renewed interest on the left in the so-called Fairness Doctrine south of the border.

Second, this letter is evidence of the inherent weakness of the NDP-Bloc-Liberal coalition. Layton has no interest in letting Dion lead, and will be loath to watch the Liberals position themselves as the government-in-waiting, a status regrettably in reach of the NDP.

Consider this statement in the letter to Reeb:

“I understand the Conservative Party and the current Prime Minister have taken a position that only one member of the proposed coalition government should respond. We respectfully remind broadcasters that the proposed coalition is just that: a proposal to the Canadian people by two of Canada's political parties with the backing of a third.

The proposed coalition for a cooperative government will, and could, only take effect if the House of Commons demonstrates its lack of confidence in the current Prime Minister and his administration of our country. Until such time, the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party are distinct and functionally separate caucuses in the House of Commons.”

Layton would have us believe that once Harper is out of the way, his party will happily work with the Liberals in a power sharing coalition. The opposite is more likely the case. Once the Harper Conservatives have been pushed aside, this coalition will come apart as neither party wants to give the other the national stage or the credit that they expect to come from saving the economy from the dangerous market liberals in Harper's cabinet.

Governor General Michaëlle Jean should take this letter as evidence that this coalition will last only long enough to oust the Harper Conservatives, and will then descend into chaos and partisan infighting.

It looks like Liberal MP and leadership prospect Michael Ignatieff is already getting cold feet.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on December 3, 2008 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink


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Is this the same Jack Layton who, when he was a councillor in Toronto, was not only being paid as a councillor as was his wife but they were also living in subsidized housing until it was discovered by the press and they hastily moved. This guy's only concern is JACK LAYTON. Don't be fooled into thinking he has any concern for the people

Posted by: alonzo shannon | 2008-12-03 2:55:39 PM

I agree that Jack Layton is a sleaze and for Stephane Dion to link up with him is wrong. If he truth be known Gilles Duceppe has more character than Layton. He doesn't lie about his intentions to separate Quebec from Canada. Layton wants to join the coalition. Layton who was in concert with the Conservatives when they announced the cancellation of income trusts by 2011. Layton will never be P.M. of Canada because Canadians are too wise to allow so two-faced an individual to lead the country. I hear that his own party want to see him leave.

Posted by: Roslyn | 2008-12-03 3:01:30 PM

The coalition have all climbed onto the same bus and Jack is now finding out that there can only be one driver, and it is not him.

Posted by: ian | 2008-12-03 3:01:54 PM

Must be a different guy. Layton wasn't divorced from his 1st wife

Posted by: dillon | 2008-12-03 3:15:21 PM

Mr. Layton's ego will not allow him to continue to support Mr. Dion as the "chief bottlewasher and spokesman" for this trio. He will need and craves the spotlight.

Posted by: Lori | 2008-12-03 3:24:43 PM

I disagree that the Bloc Quebecois is Canadian Political Party. It is a Quebec Political Party and runs candidates only in Quebec.

Posted by: rusty smith | 2008-12-03 3:48:54 PM

Poor Layton! He sounds like the little kid who wants to be included in the game and cries when he isn't. Remember this is the guy who would sell out Canada to the separatists just for a shred of power. Unfortunately for Canada, he found that the Liberals are just as greedy for power as he is.

Posted by: Tim | 2008-12-03 3:53:06 PM

Harper is the one who has done more to breakup this country than even Gilles Duceppe. He is a mean-spirited hypocrite who doesn't play well with others and he should resign.

Posted by: Cadmen | 2008-12-03 4:00:56 PM

Who has a greater role in this coaltion? Jack, or Elizabeth May? We all know that it's the BQ that runs the show, so Jack, why do you have your panties in a twist? Isn't this what you bargained for?

Posted by: LG | 2008-12-03 4:04:48 PM

The PM needs to step aside.

The Canadian people have no trust in his leadership.

Show us some read leadership and do the right thing for the Conservative party...STEP ASIDE.

Posted by: A Conservative | 2008-12-03 5:06:05 PM

Alonzo must be desperate to repeat a 10 year old discredited lie.

Jack and Olivia lived in a Co-op housing project which reserved a certain number of units for low income housing. The concept is to prevent low income ghettoes by incorporating such units into mainstream developments. The only "subsidy" that Jack and Olivia benefitted from was the small tax break which was afforded to the Co-op overall for incorporating these low income units into their development.

Ezra, since Alonzo's comment is an actionable slander, I should think you might want to remove it from your site.

Or are lies and slanders protected by your perverse definitions of free speech?

Posted by: Malcolm | 2008-12-03 5:08:27 PM

Why do all the looney lefties insist that Harper "play well with others"? Is this a schoolyard? Are you children?

Do you not remember the vitriolic hate messages that poor li'l Stepane and Jumpin Jack were spewing about Harper in the campaigns? Filthy lies about Harper, about his "hidden agenda".

Now we know who really harbours hidden agendas, it is these power hungry entitlement-crazed goofs who would destroy the economy and reputation of Canada to satisfy their failed ambitions.

Posted by: Wes Ford | 2008-12-03 5:11:09 PM

You poor misguided socialist fools. In only something closely resembling what could pass as NewSpeak as described in Orwell's 1984, you try to blame Harper as the one who is breaking up the country. Hey! Look in the mirror! Which group of miscreants has aligned themselves with the separatists to the utter delight of Jacques Parizeau again? That's right, the power lusting, brown paper bagging Liberals, and their compatriots in treason, the NDP. My vote may have counted as nothing on this round (heck, not even worth 2$), but on the next round I'm hoping that your two parties get consigned to the dust bin of history.

'Progressive' parties indeed. Another NewSpeak bullshit line. Drive the proletarians back to socialism through regressive policies! Only the 'Progressives' can think for us!

This whole mess reminds me of the line from a Vietnam war movie, 'we had to destroy the village to save it'... We had to destroy the country in order to save it.

Go figure...

On another note, what are you 'Progressives' going to do when the Western provinces separate from your socialist Utopia and you can not pay for your 'Progressive' policies anymore. I'm thinking things will quickly resemble that of the rest of the world's Banana Republics... Lot's of poverty and strife, just like the 'Progressives' like. Easier to control people when they are poor and starving eh?

Posted by: C Cooper | 2008-12-03 5:36:47 PM

Re: Alonzo Shannon comment

"Is this the same Jack Layton who, when he was a councillor in Toronto, was not only being paid as a councillor as was his wife but they were also living in subsidized housing until it was discovered by the press and they hastily moved. This guy's only concern is JACK LAYTON. Don't be fooled into thinking he has any concern for the people"

Yes it is.
About fifteen years ago my wife who was a life time NDPer and proud of was serving tables in Toronto. One day Jack comes in with about ten people in his group and is seated for service. All the staff hid, except for my wife who was new and actually asked if she could have the table to serve because she was such an NDP Booster.
"Sure", comes the reply as all the other staff laugh.
My wife proceeds to give top shelf service for ten and rings in a tab of nearly $200.00
Jack hands her the VIsa slip with ZERO Tip and he stells her, "If you were unionized you wouldn't have to rely on tips to make a living."
Ever since this meeting my wife has moved from the NDP to the Liberals and finally to the Conservatives and any time she hears Jack Laytons name or sees him she spits.
I may not know Jack, but I am glad as hell I don't have to be a lying sack of stronze like him to get along in this life.

Posted by: Luke McEachern | 2008-12-03 6:35:52 PM

Parizeau supports the coalition.

May supports the coalition.

Broadbent supports the coalition.

Chretien supports the coalition.

No doubt Justin Trudeau does too.

If Harper managed to get all of these people united against him, he must be doing something right.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-12-03 6:44:37 PM


Apparently, the Communist Party of Canada just endorsed the move.

Before long, they'll all be insisting on a more articulate leader, the lovely Jack Layton.

That'll be their 18% solution.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-12-03 7:14:59 PM

I think everyone will be okay if the do some research and understand things aren't as bad as what we think! I've been doing some research, and there's more grants and lower APR's out there now than before. Bailout is for you too!

Posted by: Tedorish | 2008-12-04 12:53:41 AM

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