Saturday, April 30, 2011
Canada's largest newspaper endorses Jack Layton and the NDP
Toronto Star endorses the NDP
April 30, 2011
Monday’s federal election may well turn out to be historic for all kinds of reasons that were not obvious when it was called five weeks ago today.
... Stephen Harper’s Conservatives ... would be bad for the country. The last thing Canada needs is an affirmation of a government obsessed with control, dismissive of critics, and determined to further diminish the role of the state in charting a better future for the country.
Voters who believe that Canada can — and should — aim higher have an important decision. Until 10 days ago, they had only one realistic alternative to the Conservatives — the Liberal party under Michael Ignatieff. Today, that is no longer the case.
The New Democrats have been reinvigorated under the leadership of Jack Layton. After Monday, they may well challenge the Liberals as the principal national standard-bearer for the roughly two voters in three who disagree fundamentally with the course charted by the Harper Conservatives. Progressive voters should give them their support on Monday.
In the past it has been easy to dismiss the federal NDP as naive idealists. That no longer applies. In this campaign they have emerged as a credible force, for many reasons.
• The party is on the verge of a historic breakthrough in Quebec, which would go far toward establishing it as a truly national party. Pushing back the Bloc Québécois is an enormous service to all Canadians. For the long-term unity of the country it is vital to have a national federalist leader trusted in Quebec as well as other regions. Layton’s roots in Quebec have proven key to this.
• The platform the NDP offers voters is ambitious and puts people first. It focuses on seniors, health care and the environment. It is in the broad tradition of nation-building that has long been at the heart of Canadian politics. After years of hearing the Harper Conservatives give the back of the hand to such aspirations, it is refreshing to see.
• On economic issues, long the NDP’s weakest point, the party is much sounder than it has been in the past. It is reaching out to small business as the main motor of job creation, and proposes no increases in personal taxes (though it would hike the corporate tax rate to 19.5 per cent). It pledges to balance the federal budget in four years, the same as the Liberals and Conservatives.
• In Layton it has a leader who has won the trust of many voters — a rare feat in a time dominated by cynical, ultra-partisan politicking. As a product of Toronto’s municipal scene and a veteran of urban politics, he is more attuned than any other major leader to the needs of our country’s cities — the engines of innovation and future prosperity.
Question marks remain. The NDP has never felt the discipline of power at the national level, and it shows. There are doubts about some of its proposals, including the amount that might be raised from its cap-and-trade system and its plan to claw back revenue from tax havens.
New Democrats have shown at the provincial level that once in office they can square their social conscience with fiscal responsibility. They are the party of Tommy Douglas, Allan Blakeney and Roy Romanow — pragmatists with a vision and a heart. Now that a much more significant role beckons at the federal level they must accept the challenge of developing that approach nationally as well.
The way this campaign has developed took everyone by surprise. The biggest disappointment has been the Liberal party under Ignatieff. Going into the campaign they had by far the biggest challenge — to connect with voters and offer a strong alternative to the Conservatives. They had to overcome the Conservatives’ brutal but effective framing of Ignatieff as something other than a real Canadian. With only two days to go before voting day, all the signs are that they have fallen short.
Ignatieff has spent the past few days lamenting the loss of the centre ground of Canadian politics and attacking the NDP as spendthrifts and “boy scouts.” His party’s collapse in Quebec raises the question of whether it can truly be considered a national force at this point. Liberal governments built much of what is best about this country — but voters are sending a clear message that they don’t feel they owe the Liberals anything for what the party did once upon a time. Nor do they believe the party has fully purged itself of the cronyism and corruption of the past. Elections are about the future, and the Liberals have not made a persuasive case for themselves as the alternative in 2011.
Fortunately, this time there is a real choice. Voters who believe Canada should aspire to something greater than the crabbed, narrow vision offered by the Harper Conservatives should look to Jack Layton and the New Democrats on Monday.
Top Stories in Toronto Star today:
Vote NDP for a change
Election choice: a question of trust
Bloc’s success paved the way for NDP’s surge in Quebec
The election choice: No new mandate for Conservatives
G20 policing: Good riddance to bad law
The Star could and has been called at numerous times the official newspaper of the Liberal Party of Canada.
And last night it reported on a obviously Harper Team generated smear story about Jack Layton being in a massage parlor many years ago.
What I have observed through this election is that Stephen Harper is an anti-social despot with a pronounced inferiority complex.
Also I have seen a federal Liberal leader equally a social outcast but for most definitely different reasons and matters of character.
Do I believe Jack Layton when he talks about what he and his party will do or promises to do . . . absolutely not.
But there is a bigger game at play here than who wins on May 2, 2011.
It is a win or lose for all of us on what constitutes democracy in this nation.
A Harper win, either as a majority or even as a minority government . . . constitutes a Clear and Present Danger to democracy and parliamentry government in Canada.
Straight to the point . . . Stephen Harper is intellectually and ethically unfit for leadership of any sovereign democratic state on earth.
Only the severe limitations of a minority government and an incestuous marriage of the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties has restrained Stephen Harper's inherent predatory and anti-democratic character.
Stephen Harper is, for lack of any better phrase or term, a despot and left unchecked he will quickly erode parliamentry democracy in this land.
In the next three days Canadians have to ask themselves do they want to live in a Christian-Corporate Reactionary state in slow transition to a leader-based-regime along the lines of 1940's Spain under Francisco Franco or 1970-80s Chile under Augusto Pinochet.
I urge you all to vote, vote for anyone but Conservatives, and if necessary hold your nose and vote strategically in your region and riding.
A majority or a minority . . . it does not matter as long as Stephen Harper holds no power on the laws or public purse of this country.
For British Columbia the best firewall for our fragile democracy will be to vote NDP as it is currently the only effective option against Harper and his 20th Century reactionaries.
The GREAT SATAN
It is simply a case of what's good for the country, and Stephen Harper now can only bring division and polarization along the lines of the massive problems facing the United States.
I could listen to you talk all day.
I am praying for a NDP landslide. I can't believe what the Harper Cons have(not)done,and to me personally. Life time gag orders,bogus security certificates,trading human rights for state secrets.
I strongly disagree with you on calling them christian-corporate. That name puts a bad light on new followers of Christ and Christanity takes enough beatings as it is. They/Harper could,can be, hiding behind a religious mask.
Lets call Harper what he is,
a false prophet!
Control is the message being promoted by the conservatives through all the strange behavior to limit access to candid questions and and smear other party candidates.
Control is what is making Canadians very nervous about the previous "Harper Government" as noted on the federal government website.Control is what NAFTA( sold to the Canadian people by conservative Brian Mulroney) has by transnationals over the North American economy.
Yes, Jack Layton has come right up the middle with his positive program for the people of Canada that the NDP has always presented.
First the people of Quebec recognized the value of this social programming and Jack's collaborative style as well as his record of being right on many issues in the past.God Bless Quebec! When the rest of Canada saw what many Quebecers have recognized; they too, have begun to realize the hope and new possibility of starting fresh from Ocean to Ocean to Ocean with a party that is not in the back pocket of big corporations but offers hope for real governance for the good of all the people.
Don't worry, Bay Street folks; we will hold your hand through the changeover and you will really see that the dollar on the stock exchange will still bubble up there. But really...did you think that your corporate taxes need to be reduced to the lowest point next to the bottom, like what companies in Singapore have? Amanda Lang on CBC's "The Lang and O'Leary Exchange" doesn't think so. And did I hear that Kevin O'Leary endorses a Layton government? YES !
It places Layton (33%) squarely in second place, not far behind Harper(37%). Libs are down to 19%. The NDP has made gains in every region of Canada and have even surpassed the Liberals in Ontario. The article gives a breakdown of where and what type of voter is most likely to vote for the people they choose.
Here is another source of polling information. Note that the Nanos poll places Harper higher, but Nanos uses a three-day rolling average: by this point, Layton's numbers could be more like the Angus Reid results. Only time will tell.
This is Harper manipulation at the highest level. This is worrisome and even scary!
If you specialize in the unthinkable, what can you offer on the Gordo & Lara story, I wonder.
The sleaze merchants are in full feather today...my God how did we ever end up with a bunch of knuckle-dragging misanthropes posing as legitimate journalists in this country?
Y'know, I've had my differences with David Beers at Tyee but at least they've had the good sense to pull the two comments which contained this poisonous and illegal crap from their website.
I say good on 'em - and good on Andrew Coyne who said he'd rather be caught naked having a massage than find himself working for SunMedia.
Tip of the hat to them both...
I just hope there enough sensible and fair minded Canadians who remember what this country used to stand for to send the whole pathetic crew to the showers for good.
If they don't, as Andrew Coyne also says - I fear for the future of democracy in this country.
That's not hyperbole - that's a fact.
Your ugly comment has been deleted. Hatred, abuse, and passionate calls proclaiming no need for courts of law, just "throw them all in jail" etc.,
have no place in a civil discussion about voting in a federal election.
Comments and insults like yours, are what I call "toxic" ... and they will be rejected from this blog.
Start thinking for yourself. Come back when you can behave like a normal citizen having a serious discussion with a neighbour about our country.
Instead, government panders to overseas (Norwegian owned) companies for some obscure and pathetic reason. Scientists are put on "gag order" and not allowed to say anything !!!
"Canada - a democracy" or a "dick-tator-ship" ?????????
For those of you who agree with the Great Satan at the top of the post, and even if you don't....
I have a Comprehensive "Surge and Strat Guide to stopping Cons in British Columbia" up, here.
This is just too important not to wurlitzer as far and wide as possible.
Of course if Harper somehow gets his cherished majority, I will be getting my passport in order and considering moving to an actual democracy, if indeed there are any that remain on this planet - before the prisons are built and the big fence to keep the rest of us at home and doing Harper's bidding!