Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Stephen Harper and the Divided Left

Oh EXCELLENT. I knew that ominous looking black cloud that has been hanging over my head all summer would finally lift.

"We cannot support this government any further. After four years of drift, four years of denial, four years of division, four years of discord, Mr. Harper, your time is up."

Because those are the words that brighten my day.....and turn me on.

So much so I'm wearing five pairs of underpants to try to contain my...um...enthusiasm.

Although this bothers me.

Senior New Democrats suggested the 36-member caucus could save the country from an unwanted fall vote if Prime Minister Stephen Harper agrees to support key NDP priorities.

And so does this.

Because this is what Stephen Harper looked like when a French reporter broke the news to him today...

And Great Ugly Leader doesn't look too happy eh?

So now a few things come to mind:

(1) Nobody and NOTHING could be worse than Harper and his ugly thug Cons.

(2) If the Liberals win a minority they'll need the NDP. And vice-versa.

(3) I wish the progressive parties would just concentrate their fire on the Cons and stop shooting at each other.

Because I'm for the Anyone But Harper Coalition, so please don't shoot ME. It's just poor little Simon eh?

But I do want to make something perfectly clear. If that blessed election ever comes. I'll be voting for the party that saves Canada from those Cons.

And makes my dream come true...

Oh yeah...and one more thing. I don't drink, but I bought a bottle of cheap champagne today.

Because the day the tyrant is toppled.

I'm getting SMASHED....


Jennifer Smith said...

To be fair, the Liberals have always (almost always) been perfectly willing to work with the NDP (Medicare? Martin's NDP budget? The Coalition? Hellooooo??). It's only been in the last few years that the NDP have been really pushing the whole "Liberal, Tory, same old story" routine and actively attacking the Liberals, which has forced the Liberals into counter-attack mode.

The sad thing is, I can almost see their point with Ignatieff. And I'm sure Layton thinks this is the way to go if he's ever going to raise the NDP above third party status, although it really doesn't seem to be working out that way. I guess the difference is, as a Liberal I'd be perfectly happy to see the NDP win a federal election. But from what I've heard from NDP bloggers on my site, I gather the reverse isn't true.

Oemissions said...

And I don't think Harper can change.
The Libs have many very progressive MPs and potential MPs.
Here in the Gulf Islands/Saanich, a bright new candidate Rene Hetherington, vows to represent her constituents first.We don't know who the NDP will run here and Eliz May may run. So we will have a divided vote again, and Lunn, our current Minister of Sports will win unless the Greens, NDP and Libs do something in a strategic way to defeat this little yes man.
John Baird spent most of his election campaign last time at Seniors centres.The Libs should send Justin Trudeau across the country talking to seniors.
That might help lower the Con vote.
The NDP want more seats but for just this once, a united front with the goal to defeat this government is the only tactic . Let go of Party loyalties just for once for the common good.

'berto said...

Simon --

I loves ya, but REALLY... other than not being Stephen Harper, can you name me any substantive way in which Ignasty's major policy positions differ from Harper's? As a friend of mine recently wrote, "Ignatieff with a majority would be just as bad in both economics and foreign affairs as the CPC (especially Afghanistan, NATO expansion and the Israel-Palestine dispute). The only consolation would be that there wouldn't be quite so many so-con Neanderthals (Kenney, Day,Toews etc.) sitting in cabinet. And if Ignatieff gets a minority, one hopes that the NDP and BQ have enough seats to curtail his right-wing instincts. However I'm not confident that Ignatieff has any desire to work with the NDP (unlike say Dion last year, Trudeau in the 70s, or Peterson in the 80s)."

To which, another friend added: "But given they've been drifting since Paul Martin's PMship, i don't think much of their chances. Ignatieff agrees with Harper on just about everything. And Ignatieff's been such a dud that harper's numbers went up this summer, rather than down."

I couldn't agree more. If *ALL* you are concerned about is getting rid of Harper, then I guess the Lesser Evil is one way to go. But as Noam Chomsky points out, going that route, you still wind up with Evil.

'berto said...

To Jennifer Smith -- Oh, puh-LEEEZE! "The Liberals have always (almost always) been willing to work with the NDP"...? Get real! As far as Medicare goes, it was *Diefenbaker's* government that first made moves to adopt a national health care system -- AFTER Tommy Douglas had faced down the doctor's strike in Sask, and the rest of Canada saw how well Medicare was working, and demanded to know why THEY couldn't have it too. By the time Pearson came along, the "sale" was already made, and the Liberals were Johnny-come-latelys.

As far as Paul Martin, it was his adamant REFUSAL to stand up for Medicare that resulted in the NDP pulling its support -- which, to be TRUTHFUL was NOT the cause of Paul Martin's face-plant (despite Liberal apparatchiks' constant whines to the contrary). Let's look at the *record* -- even if the NDP had voted against the nonconfidence motion, Martin's government would STILL have fallen by a vote of 153-151. And simply keeping the Liberals in power for another six weeks or so would have made NO meaningful difference in how the election would have come out.
The Liberals had been in power for thirteen years. Their record?
- ZERO action on the environment, or on the reduction of greenhouse gases
- ZERO action on the national childcare program they had been promising for 15 years
- THEFT of millions of dollars from the public treasury, funnelled to the Liberal Party and to the private bank accounts of Liberal campaign officials
- A full scale attack on universal health care and other social programs
- All in order to fund massive tax cuts to transnational corporations (which Martin -- like Harper -- REFUSED to give up on).

As far as the Coalition, Jennifer, give your head a SHAKE. *Who* was it that strangled that idea in its infantcy? Oh yeah -- Ignasty.

And as for the poor, misunderstood Liberals being attacked by the NDP and merely being forced to respond, don't make me LAUGH. In the last election, the Liberals put MORE resources into ridings where the NDP either held the riding or were the closest alternative to the Harpokons than they EVER did into ridings where there was an actual chance to defeat a Harpokon candidate.

"Liberal-Tory, Same Old Story" has rarely been as TRUE as it has been under Paul Martin (and now, Ignasty). And don't blame the NDP for what happened to Dion -- the Liberals (under the eager urgings of Turncoat Rae and Count Ignasty) knifed him in the back *themselves*.

I've got reasons of my own to my angry with the NDP, but *none* of them were on your list of misrepresentations, rationalizations and excuses. Sure, I despise Harper, but I despise Ignasty almost as much.

Robert McClelland said...

Let go of Party loyalties just for once for the common good.

The NDP and its predecessors have always let go of party loyalties for the common good. So how about liberals let go of their party loyalties just this once for the common good.

Skinny Dipper said...

I don't think the Liberal Party will be seen as a left wing party. It will try to position themselves as a centrist party.

Ricky Barnes said...

I too want too see Harper gone. But comments like Jennefer's are what's wrong with the Liberals. First and foremost, they are two very distinct political parties. They agree on many things and disagree on many. At least that is better than the Harper Conservatives.

The Liberals didn't go along willing with the NDP as Jennifer suggests. They were generally in a minority govt needing NDP help to stay there.

Those times created great change in this country, change that the NDP stood for.

Paul Martin still might be PM if he too had decided to go along with some NDP change suggestions. Harper may never have made it to 24 sussex.

Alas perhaps the liberals will win a minority and the first thing on my wish list would be rep by pop of some kind.

The LPCers and NDP both see a portion of voters in the others party that could be swung. They both need to look at getting more people to vote. That otta change a few things for the better.

I think Jennifer is a moderate LPCer and if there were more of her, I bet the likes of her and I could work together.

Anonymous said...

Based on recent polling numbers, am I the only one who has come to the conclusion that there is a better chance to defeat the Cons government if the Libs and NDP both train their attacks on what Harper has been doing these past few years rather than on each other?

CK said...

I too would love to see the Harper Gov't gone; forever & am also in the vote anyone but Harper camp. But, I think we should tred carefully. Polls as of late have differing numbers. Ipsos Reid says that Harper is 11 points above the Liberals (Harper: 39%; Liberals: 28%). Others say they're in a dead heat. Either way, I'm wondering if Iggy was getting a little too cocky? He isn't strong enough to take away the raison d'etre from the Bloc in QC, where does he stand on the issues important to Canadians today, such as: environment, health care, the economy, the war in Afghanistan, etc.? I wrote the Federal Liberal Party 2 weeks ago asking these questions & still haven't received an answer.
Judging by newspaper articles & comments to them I'v read today, alot of whiny Canadians bitching about having to go to the polls yet again. This is a bad sign; it generally means good news for the incumbent. In this case, bad news for us. Remember, last year while he still only got a minority, it was a stronger minority & this is cause for alarm. In those comments, I've also noticed that these same whiny Canadians tend to be right leaning & were vehemently against that proposed coalition gov't. So if they do drag themselves kicking & screaming to the polls, they will vote conservative.
I would look forward to going to the polls if I was assured that Harper would be gone. But unfortunately, I don't see that for the reasons I mentioned above. Yes, indeed I would love Harper to go but I am a realist. Please remember, there is one thing more dangerous than a Harper minority; that's a Harper majority. For that, I am very nervous.
It's about time Iggy packed it off back for the U.S. & for the Liberals to get serious about finding a leader that most Canadians (yes, Quebecers too)from coast to coat can get behind; to get a majority; a leader who can seriously offer an alternative to the Bloc to soft nationalist Quebecers. Either, that or revive that coalition idea from last winter.

Simon said...

Hi Jennifer....look I've lost count. I don't know which side is more narrowly partisan. All I know is that I have friends who are NDPers and Liberals. And we all share more than we disagree about...including a belief in Canada's basic and decent values. So for the life of me I simply cannot understand why some kind of agreement can't be worked out to akkow us to cohabit...and argue...together. And crush those wretched Cons...

Simon said...

hi Oemissions... that riding seems a perfect example of the insanity of the divided progressive forces. I have to admit I'm more on the NDP lefty side, but I recognize that in good years the Liberals have done much to improve Canada.
And I also know that an Liberal/NDP arrangement has produced some of the most progressive legislation ever.
So I want to see the left and the centre-left and the Ignatieff left try to join forces to defeat our common enemy.
I KNOW it's going to happen one day, because there's no other way to go.
I just wish we'd get there sooner...

Simon said...

Hi 'berto...ok well as long as you REALLY love me... :)
Here's what I think. Michael Ignatieff is too right-wing for my taste. But there are some really good Liberals so I wouldn't want to throw them out with the bath water. Especially since we need them to stop the country being hijacked by a minority of Con thugs who don't share our values.
And as a gay guy those values are important to me. Because the Cons hate my guts and the Liberals don't.
So yes I do believe in a lesser evil.
While still hoping that each with our own ideas can make up a vast coalition that can push the Cons out of power.
So we can then have furious arguments over where we go from there.
But will know at least wherever we go it will be a little better than where we came from...
And besides is anybody out there saying what I'm saying? Doesn't somebody have to brave the hail of arrows from both sides to do that?
I thought so. So now say thank you. And no wonder I love you. Gawd Allmighty the things I have to endure... ;)

Simon said...

hi Robert...what I can't understand why cooperating or forming a coalition means anyone has to give up party loyalties. Or stop arguing for the things they believe in. All it means is forming a coalition built on some principles that we share and the Cons don't. And working together to try to achieve the kind of Canadian compromises that made this country great once, and can do so again...

Simon said...

Hi Skinny Dipper...yes Ignatieff has been very clear about that. Which in his case means having eight toes on the right of that line. And two toes on the left.
But that's what a coalition is a spectrum of ideas and positions, stretching from the elusive middle to the lefty left.
Those on both extremes may disagree violently but those of us in the lefty middle can probably get along very well together... :)

Simon said...

hi Ricky...I realize that the Liberals and the NDP are two distinct parties with proud histories and cherished traditions. But they do have a hell of a lot more in common when it comes to Canadian values than the Cons do.
And when these Harper Cons pose such a great threat to the Canada we know and love is it unreasonable to ask for some cooperation in the face of such danger?
Or put petty partisanship aside just for a bit until that unprecedented danger is over.
But hey look...I know I'll get attacked by both sides, but I'm still going to keep beating the drum for some kind of coalition.
Just call me Saint Simon... :)

Simon said...

hi anonymous...no you are not alone. With you and me that makes TWO of us... ;)
But seriously polls have shown that Canadians would be very favourable to the idea of the Liberals and the NDP working together.
And a lot more have come around to the idea of a coalition.
So I think more people should be talking about how the centre-left parties can cooperate.
As I mentioned before one day it will be obvious.
So the sooner we start the better...

Simon said...

hi CK...you make a lot of excellent points. And I have to admit maybe I was a bit carried away in this post. Because there is a real danger in not choosing the right time to trigger an election.
And like you I fear a Harper majority more than anything.
It's not an easy situation and what frustrates me is that if we had some kind of Lib/NDP/Green coalition we could kick the Cons out and never let them back.
But we don't so as you point out we must be very very careful....