Monday, November 07, 2005

Layton Cries "No Confidence" on Health Care Reforms

... and (just possibly) lets slip the first dogs of a Christmas election at the Empire Club ?

[via bourque.org]

Never a fan of phony Liberal entreaties that "no one wants an election until it is convenient for our party", I am pleased to see Layton at least demonstrating the will to apply added pressure. Bring on a December or January vote. Snow hasn't stopped us in the past, and it is insulting to say democracy must wait for the seasons to change.

The tactics of such a move cannot really be faulted either. Surely the most compelling aspect of this entire ordeal, from Layton's perspective, is that any new House configuration is unlikely to give him quite the balance of power position that the NDP currently hold. He can hardly be faulted for only reluctantly ceding such a powerful, leveraged position. Hence his continued reluctance to commit out-right to toppling the government. And yet...

From Jack's perspective, an election framed on a Gomery non-confidence question is eminently preferable to one brought about in the wake of Liberal budgetary sweeteners and a cooling off period. The NDP can also now campaign on health care in direct contrast to the Liberal proposals (or lack thereof) and present themselves as a truly leftist alternative to a party overly welcome to failed Conservative leadership candidates, embattled by perceptions of corruption and engulfed in a "civil war" of sorts.

Indeed, the swirling rumours have indicated that both Broadbent and Blaikie have been pressuring Layton to pull the plug. Unsurprising, I'd say, considering the importance both old school politicians place on representation in the House of Commons. To remain a continuing force in Canadian politics, the wily veterans realize the need to make substantive gains where it counts - in terms of seats won at the ballot box. Now seems like an opportunity to attempt (at least) to consolidate their recent, hard-fought advantage. It is an election that can be fought squarely on NDP terms. The alternative - attempting to squeeze out the last few concessions before the call in the Spring - is simply not as valuable.

In the immediate aftermath of Belinda's defection across the floor, I mused openly and randomly about a possible temporary alliance between the CPC and the NDP on various policy positions that might sustain a non-Liberal minority. Others on the right have recently begun speculating to that effect as well. It just might be time to roll those dice. Fortune favours the bold.


Anonymous Blue Cross of California said...

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system. Health insurance is a major aspect to many.

6:35 PM  

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