“Jack Layton’s Position is as ‘Clear as Mud’”
There are more indications this week that Canada has begun to climb out of the global economic recession at a faster pace than other nations. Naturally, this only solidified Michael Ignatieff’s intent to impose an unwanted election upon Canadians. Less clear are the intentions of the NDP’s Jack Layton, who has been delivered a political ‘bombshell’ with Mr. Ignatieff’s premature electioneering.
As I noted last week, the Liberals want an election before any further positive economic figures are released, thereby exposing as an opportunistic sham their claims that our Conservative Government must be brought down for mismanaging the economy.
In fact, quickly following the release of figures showing that Canada’s GDP grew in June, the World Economic Forum ranked Canada as the 9th most competitive economy in the world, a big jump from 14th under the previous Liberal government in 2005-06.
At the G20 Finance Minister’s meeting last weekend, western leaders were gushing with praise and envy for Canada’s economic stability. France’s Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said “we can be inspired by…the Canadian situation.”
And in another sign that our Conservative Government’s Economic Action Plan is working, new housing starts in Canada increased in August.
While Mr. Ignatieff clearly views this good news for Canadians as a sure sign he needs an election ‘sooner-than-later’, Mr. Layton and the NDP can’t figure out what to do.
For the second time in a year, Mr. Ignatieff has thrown Jack Layton a curve ball. First Mr. Ignatieff, who had signed-up for a Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition just days after Canadians returned our Conservative Government to power with a stronger mandate, reneged on the deal. Now, Mr. Ignatieff has called Mr. Layton’s election bluff.
Back in June when the Liberals were ducking Parliamentary votes to avoid an election they didn’t have the money to fight, Mr. Layton could boast he would never support the Conservative Government. He even bragged that the NDP voted against us in 79 consecutive confidence motions in the House.
In August following a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a defiant Mr. Layton declared, “The NDP would be the least likely of the political parties to support the Conservatives in office.”
Yet when Mr. Ignatieff suddenly put the election trigger in his hands in early September, Mr. Layton, who is typically the first politician to throw himself in front of a television camera, went into hiding for two days! He sent his deputy leader, Thomas Muclair to deliver an olive branch to our Conservative government, suggesting the NDP would work with us on a case-by-case basis.
On one hand, the NDP are showing poorly in the polls and in their bank balance so Mr. Layton is hedging his bets by now pretending to be conciliatory and cooperative in Parliament. On the other hand, he doesn’t want to waste a rare opportunity for himself and the NDP to be relevant in Canadian politics. So he’s also trying to play the role of ‘power-broker’ by echoing Mr. Ignatieff’s election threats.
While Mr. Layton and Mr. Ignatieff focus solely on their own political fortunes, our Conservative Government remains focussed on ‘staying the course’ towards economic recovery.