Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Layton, Harper taking cues from McCain more than Obama

It's really sad how NDP leader Jack Layton has reacted to the Mother May I? question. Here is a guy who has huge posters put up (see the corner of St-Laurent and Jean-Talon in Montreal) with just his own name and mustachioed grin. He daily stands at a podium with only his name emblazoned upon it. He is flying in a campaign plane with only his name on the side in giant letters. Yet he wouldn't take ownership of his decision to deny Elizabeth May's voice at the upcoming televised leadership debates by speaking to the media about it himself. Instead, he sent his spokesperson to explain it, and belied his claim to strong leadership himself by meekly choosing to duck reporters' questions.
Layton was hustled away by handlers when reporters tried to clarify if he had said he would pull out.

"I'm looking forward to debating the prime minister," was his only comment.

Before Lavigne spoke, another NDP official speaking off record said that a negotiator for Layton had told network organizers that he would have to "reconsider" his participation but had not threatened to boycott.
And then the NDP spokesperson couldn't resist promoting the entirely false meme (that may have been true two elections ago) of the Green Party being a one-issue party. Seems to me that if your actions do not jibe with your rhetoric, you are not doing anything to gain the trust of voters who have been skeptical of your party for decades. It reminds me of a line from Obama's incredible DNC acceptance speech: "He just doesn't get it." Of course the 'he' Obama was referring to was his Republican counterpart, John McCain, but it surely applies to Mr. Layton on this day.

For the record, the Vision Green is a 160-page tome in pdf, and covers the economy, taxation, public security, Afghanistan and just about everything in the federal realm and beyond:
Vision Green presents leading-edge thinking and rational, realistic solutions for all the issues facing Canadians. It was developed by a 31-member Green Shadow Cabinet and was informed by experts, activists and citizens who participated in policy workshops held across Canada. All the proposals are based on policies approved by the membership of the Green Party.

Green Party solutions are rational because the Green Party, unlike other parties, understands the scientifically verified limits to growth set by the carrying capacity of our planet. We must work within these limits. Otherwise, we will exhaust resources, degrade our environment and put our economy, health and children’s future at risk.

Our solutions are realistic because they follow “best practices” already in place in parts of Canada or other countries. These practices are cost-effective, deliver results and benefit people, the economy and the environment.

The Green Party’s down-to-earth solutions will work in Canada because they have worked around the world. Many have been successfully applied in Europe, where Greens are elected at all political levels, including the European Union and national parliaments. Countries where Greens have served in government are the countries creating new high-paying jobs while simultaneously meeting targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are the countries where the gap between rich and poor is small and the standard of living is high. These countries don’t trade off the environment for the economy. Their economies and environmental laws are both strong.

Many people find it hard to position the Green Party on the old political spectrum. We believe in sound fiscal management and strengthening our economy while ensuring that it is sustainable. Does that mean we are “right wing”? We believe that government must provide needed social services while protecting our environment and the rights of women, minorities and disadvantaged people. Does that make us “left wing”? We don’t think so. More and more people are simply thinking of the Green Party as the party of the future.

The Green Party is different from other parties in another important way. We will never place the pursuit of power above principle. We will not allow partisan politics to get in the way of good ideas and needed action. We agree with Canadians who say it’s time for parties in parliament to stop bickering and get on with the job of combating climate change and taking better care of our environment, our health and our economy.
Let's not forget Harper's atrocious behaviour in this matter - he was the first one to spread lies and threaten to boycott the whole affair if the Green Party leader was given a seat, perhaps to protect the shaky seat held by his lil buddy, Junior MacKay, against whom May is running herself.
Why not just letElizabethspeak.ca, guys? Or are you enjoying this media storm that's taking you all off-message?

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