Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Friday, February 09, 2007


Lecturing Jack

This article in today's Toronto Star is yet another example of a rather curious argument coming from critics of Jack Layton. I don't know who John Waugh is, but this kind of argument usually comes from Liberals and their various apologists — not from actual NDP supporters themselves. That he doesn't offer himself up as a Dipper, yet pretends to lecture those who do, might give you some clue as to where he's coming from.

The argument essentially goes like this: The NDP has to be a principled left-wing party and/or it has to help Liberals get and hold power.

It's a curious argument because it assumes that the Liberals are a principled left-of-centre party. The very same people who argue that Jack isn't left-wing enough argue that Stéphane Dion is:

There are two choices: become a firm voice for traditional left-wing principles or join the increasingly left-leaning, progressive and attractive Liberal party of Dion, Michael Ignatieff and Ken Dryden, to unite the left and seek a share of power.
Michael Ignatieff? The guy who makes Stephen Harper look like Al Gore? The guy who supported the Iraq war and wants to look the other way when it comes to "torture?"

There is no principle in telling Jack Layton that he needs to support Liberals simply for the purpose of getting power and blocking Stephen Harper. Principle seems to be sorely lacking with Liberals these days, yet they spend all their time hypocritically lecturing others about it.

Liberals are desperate. That they can only find arguments against others, rather than offer principled reasons for their own existence, tells me that they have not learned one thing from the message Canadians sent them last winter. To them, it's all about them. Nothing else really matters.

I should also note that it doesn't surprise me one bit that an article like this would appear in the Liberal Star. What party doesn't love free political advertising, especially one that lost an election because of it?

UPDATE (4:11 pm): It would appear that someone has written a blog post in response to this one. So, I'll write a response to the response:

(a) I am not a Dipper. Not even close, buddy.

(b) Partly confirming what I write above, which is that current Dippers aren't advocating for propping up Liberals, Tyrone says he last worked for the NDP back in 1998. Not really the "bona fides" I was looking for, Tyrone. A more pertinent question: When was the last time you worked to get Liberals elected?

(c) Also confirming what I originally wrote, Tyrone doesn't provide any positive reasons to support Liberals. They're just not Conservatives, and that should be good enough for anybody. Whatever.

(d) Brian Mulroney as some kind of force for neoconservatism? I always get a kick out of how the left reacts to moderates like Mulroney or even Nixon. These are exactly the kinds of conservatives you'd think they'd want, yet even they somehow qualify as Darth Vaders of the modern political universe. Yes, I know Nixon was a crook, but they hated him long before that.

(e) If Mulroney was such a force for neoconservatism, what is it exactly that the Liberals did for the past 13 years to reverse any of it? In fact, they gutted health care and neglected the environment. This is a record of achievement upon which progressives are supposed to keep voting Liberal all the time?

So, in response to my characterization of the arguments Liberals and their apologists make for progressives to support Liberals, Tyrone kind of proves my point. He uses the old fear card that Liberals are so good at, and doesn't provide one shred of proof that voting Liberal actually does what they say voting Liberal is supposed to do.

It's classic Liberal politics: vote for what we say we are, rather than what we actually do to make Canada better progressively or otherwise.

See my reply here.


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