Some folks I know argue that Layton made a mistake in pulling his support of the Liberals when he did, and that this counts as a flip-flop or some lack of integrity. Scotian (and other bloggers) took issue with his compromise proposal to spare us this Christmas-time campaign.
I think Layton would've lost more integrity going along with the Martin Liberals until Spring. Have we so soon forgotten what brought this on? The money quote from Layton's November 7th public letter to Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh:
(The Martin government's healthcare proposals) are in no way a satisfactory response to the values and needs of Canadians, and therefore do not provide a basis for our party to support the Government in Parliament.
When it became clear Martin would not meet Layton's demands that the federal government stop the creeping privatization of Medicare, that's when he declared the NDP would no longer support the government on a confidence motion. In doing so, he took a principled stand for the one issue dearest to the hearts of most Canadians coast to coast. It was the NDP precursor (Tommy Douglas's CCF) that created the first socialized medicine program first in Saskatchewan of course, so if the NDP had compromised on this issue, Layton would've been a disgrace to his party. And he would've been seen as turning his back on all those who voted for him in 2004, not to mention the raison d'etre of the NDP: fighting for social justice.
I don't think the timing is an issue any more if it means standing up for the universality of our health-care system. Layton would do himself a favour to remind us of that at each campaign stop.
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