Jack Layton was just on CBC's The National with Peter Mansbridge, answering questions from members of the public. As usual, he did a good job of presenting the NDP as the viable third alternative. As Jack says in this letter to Canadians,
"There is a better choice in this election. It’s the NDP."
Unfortunately, the NDP's existence seems to have been lost on the Globe and Mail, which wrote the most hesitant possible endorsement
of the Conservatives on the following grounds: (1) It's time for a change. (2) The Liberals are too comfy with corruption. (3) Did we mention it's time for a change? and Harper isn't as scary in 2006 as he was in 2004.
That's literally the best argument the Globe can come up with for supporting Harper. Even then they don't seem to certain about it. They finish by consoling themseves with the thought that surely, a governing party could never go against the wishes of the people:
"Political parties are in the business of currying public favour; a governing party, even an unnatural one, will not stray too far, too frequently, from the social consensus. The dynamic of democratic change keeps competitors for power within reasonable bounds. So it will be for Mr. Harper and his Conservatives."
Uh -- no. Apparently the Globe hasn't taken a look at America lately. The neoconservatives there have implemented policies, under cover of secrecy and lies, that are pretty far from the democratic consensus. And no, I'm not saying that Harper is Bush or that he's going to invade other countries, torture children and spy on our citizens. But to look at the US is to realize that just because a party is main-stream is no guarantee that its policies will be mainstream. The Globe is fooling itself here.
It's a real shame that the Globe hasn't heard of the NDP. The Globe wants change, but they "worry about [Harper's] seeming indifference to the need for a strong central government in a country so replete with runaway centrifugal forces." Want to elect someone who believes in a strong central government? That's what the NDP's all about.
The Globe "worr[ies] about [Harper] teaming up with the Bloc Québécois to weaken the federal government's tax-raising capacity and its advocacy of national programs." Guess what -- the NDP are fiercely nationalist and have no intention of cutting taxes for the wealthy to skint social programs.
They "worry that [Harper] might have to strike retrograde compromises with social conservatives in the party's midst." Meaning, they're worried about the strong support for anti-abortion and anti-gay laws in the former Alliance party. Again, not a concern with the NDP.
And finally, they "worry that he may prove heavy-handed in wielding the considerable powers of a prime minister." The Globe and Mail is worried Harper will turn into an autocrat.
And yet they still endorse him?
What a shame, what a terrible shame that they haven't heard of the NDP and Jack Layton. It is time for change, and thank the electoral stars that there is
another option besides Harper and the CPC. There's Jack Layton, Rob Hutchison, and the values that we in the NDP stand for.
As an aside, even the Conservatives
are telling people that if they do get a majority, it will still be okay because there will be lots of Liberals around to moderate them.
What does it say about a prospective government when it needs to reassure voters that it won't be the only ones governing? (Thanks to Sinister Thoughts
for the link.)