Why does Layton dislike Liberals? It seems almost forced, this dislike. You can see this dislike on his face in this interview he does with a blogging Tory. I certainly don’t feel the same way about Jack and the NDP bunch…what’s not too like? Policy wise our perspectives usually are more similar than different.
It’s maddening. Here I have been dreaming of an NDP/Liberal/Green unity coalition and Jack can’t seem to get beyond the idea that progressive’s should focus on bashing each other rather than working together. All the while Mr. Harper giggles in a corner scheming, and slandering all the way to another Minority (or heaven help us a Majority).
Today Chantal Hébert of the Toronto Star talks about the concept of a coalition on the left, cognisant of the fact (as we all are) that without some unification on the left, the Conservatives will continue to control the government and the agenda.
If the mathematics of the 2006 election add up to any new equation, it is not the zero-sum game of the NDP winning a war of attrition against the Liberals any time soon, but the potential multiplication of progressive momentum if the two merge into a single, reconfigured party. The very idea is anathema to many New Democrats.
Much as the Tories used to decry any rapprochement with the Reform/Alliance, New Democrats proclaim that coming together with the Liberals would narrow rather than expand voters’ choices. The NDP brand of idealism, they say, would be diluted by crass Liberal pragmatism. And yet. …
The successful New Democrat governments of Western Canada – where the base of the federal NDP is currently located – are much closer in their approach to the federal Liberals than to their federal cousins. The differences between a New Democrat premier like Gary Doer in Manitoba, a Liberal like Jean Charest in Quebec and a Progressive Conservative like Bernard Lord in New Brunswick have more to do with style than substance.
I wonder if Layton will begin to aim his vinegar at the Greens instead if they get ahead of him in the polls? I guess I have to reconsider my point of view on the coalition thing. So much for living in my little fantasy world where we work together to do what’s best for progressive Canadians. In answer to Layton’s ponderings in his new book, I believe that Canadians don’t abandon the Liberals because overall Canadians are a lot closer to the centre than Jack wants to believe. Elizabeth May seems to be more open, and willing to work together, perhaps that’s why the Greens are gaining on the NDP in the polls.