Friday, October 26, 2007

Dion Liberals to Canadians: "We are weak and irrelevant"

Just like in medicine, politics has a Hippocratic oath to guide its practitioners: never do anything to worsen your weaknesses. You can be sure your opponent is going to attack you, so don’t hand them the stick with which to beat you.

It’s simple stuff. Yet the Liberal Party’s “Absent Opposition” strategy runs directly counter to it.

Rex Murphy laid bare the price the Dion Liberals can expect to pay for their forced irrelevance in his rant on The National last night:

“The House of Commons only exists for two reasons: for MPs to vote in favour of stuff they like and vote against stuff they don't. They can, incidentally and have been, whipped for both. But when a party has to flog its members to make sure that they don't vote at all: neither fishing nor cutting bait, then why are they in the House of Commons in the first place? 'Elect me to the House of Commons as your member and you can count on me to duck all the major votes.' Doesn't work for me.”

By effectively giving Stephen Harper his majority government by sitting out confidence votes, the Liberal Party is not only being irresponsible, they are also confirming ALL of their major weaknesses – that Liberal MPs are ineffective; that the Liberal Party is doesn’t know what it stands for; and that Dion is a weak leader.

When the time comes for Canadians to replace Harper, they will have a clear choice between a leader like Jack Layton who knows what he stands for and, peculiarly, actually stands up for it, or the discredited Dion Liberals who by their own admission can’t stand up to Harper.


James Curran said...

What a joke. Layton was "absent" for a confidence vote last year with his non-discript MPs. Not to mentioon Harpercite and his crew were "absent" for the budget vote in 2005.

If Jack wanted and election he would have voted for the Liberal ammendment. He's a joke.

Blogging Horse said...

Nice try, James.

Check the record from the vote that Dion says the NDP "abstained" on.

Libby Davies gets up and asks "the NDP be recorded as having voted in favour of this amendment". That's hardly abstaining.

The record is clear: the NDP didn't abstain from any vote. But the real question is why did the Liberals not give consent for the NDP MPs to have their vote recorded on the Liberal amendment?

Anonymous said...

We are still the Official Opposition with 96 seats.

More if the by-elections go our way.

Look, you guys could have helped us defeat Harper's Conservatives if the NDP agreed to support the Liberal amendment (a big IF, I would agree). By saying yes, Dion can go to the Governor-General and offer to form a coalition government with you guys. Since the Dippers refused, then the Grits would abstain knowing it does not want to assume power just yet.

Under parliamentary rules, Dion can become PM if he can convince the Governor-General that he can obtain the support of the House. Since the NDP refused to support him and co-operating with the Bloc is tantamount to the interests of Canada, then Dion's logical choice is to abstain.

red and proud said...

Mushroom is right. If the NDP really was serious about moving forward with a progressive agenda they would work with the Liberals rather than constantly attacking them.

Blogging Horse said...

R&P -

You MUST be joking. Sure, fall is a busy time of year, so, just in case you were raking leaves, Stephane Dion and 94 Liberal MPs DID NOT OPPOSE Stephen Harper's plan to take this country in the wrong direction this week. They could have -- they didn't.

The Liberal Party has weak leadership and doesn't know what it believes. Add to that 13 years of inaction and scandal and you can see why progressive people are coming to the NDP.

And the people who are coming to the Liberals? Let's see ... Garth Turner!?

Stephane Dion is not the answer.

red and proud said...

And you think that blowhard Layton IS the answer? You're the one who's joking.

I consider myself a progressive person. I may now call myself "Red and Proud" but for most of my life (and I am pushing 50) I have been orange. No more. Never again will I ever vote NDP.

Blogging Horse said...

The most recent Evironics poll put Layton in second place for "best prime minister" -- ahead of Dion by 7% and more than double Dion's support in Quebec.

That poll, and the recent by-elections in Quebec show that more people see Layton's leadership as the answer than they do the discredited Dion Liberals.


red and proud said...

The same poll shows the Conservatives at 33% and the Liberals at 29%. With the margin of error, they are essentially tied. Where was the NDP? Way back at 19%. Your party will never form a government. Your best bet is to align with the party that will, and which is closest ideologically to yours, the Liberal Party.

Blogging Horse said...

That's odd. It was only recently that people on the Red Team were saying "the NDP will never win in Outremont."

What else are canards for?