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M.Dancer

Pointless Posturing From Jack Layton

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Floundering in the polls and facing decimation if and when an election is called, The NDP brain trust struggle to come up with an issue that will galvanize their support, such that it is....

The economy....nope....no one trusts the NDP to run a hot dog stand...

How about.....!!!!

A referendum to abolish the senate!

Yeah that's a great idea....even better, the emoting classes whom the NDP derive their support probably don't even know a referendum cannot abolish the senate...but that's not the point....the point is to get the NDP on the front page!!!

Here's your ink, Jack

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Floundering in the polls and facing decimation if and when an election is called, The NDP brain trust struggle to come up with an issue that will galvanize their support, such that it is....

The economy....nope....no one trusts the NDP to run a hot dog stand...

How about.....!!!!

A referendum to abolish the senate!

Yeah that's a great idea....even better, the emoting classes whom the NDP derive their support probably don't even know a referendum cannot abolish the senate...but that's not the point....the point is to get the NDP on the front page!!!

Here's your ink, Jack

It's pretty ludicrous to be sure, and on different levels. On the one hand, I cannot imagine something that will engage voters less right now than Senate reform. On the other hand, it is an enormous constitutional bag of worms far beyond the NDP's scope to deal with, and maybe even to understand. There is no way that the Liberals, Bloc or Tories are going to light a fuse under that. Beyond even that, even setting the terms of such a referendum would require negotiations with the provinces and the agreement of all ten provinces to abide by the results of the referendum. All the provinces are going to probably take a dim view of eradicating the one part of Parliament that at least somewhat represents them in the Federal Government, and I think it's pretty much guaranteed that Quebec and Ontario, and probably the Atlantic provinces are going to have little desire to actually eliminate the Senate.

I think the NDP need to begin suggesting Layton retire after his long... efforts.

Edited by ToadBrother

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A referendum to abolish the senate!

Just another example of why Stephen Harper is PM, and will continue to be PM for the forseeable future. There just isn't anyone credible around right now in any other party to seriously challenge him.

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Just another example of why Stephen Harper is PM, and will continue to be PM for the forseeable future. There just isn't anyone credible around right now in any other party to seriously challenge him.

It's not like Harper has been any more realistic. His own idea of foisting Senate-reforming legislation, despite the obvious fact that tampering with the Senate requires the Provinces to be on board, suggests he's just as delusional as Layton on the finer points of our constitution. The BNA Act simply does not afford the House of Commons the right to alter the Senate's constitution, the length Senators sit, how they are ultimately chosen or, to direct this at the NDP, to unilaterally create referendums to decide whether it exists any more.

Is there anybody in Ottawa that knows anything about our constitution? It's like we've elected a few hundred high school drop outs who never bothered taking any kind of civics lessons.

Edited by ToadBrother

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Floundering in the polls and facing decimation if and when an election is called, The NDP brain trust struggle to come up with an issue that will galvanize their support, such that it is....

While the Conservatives are in Majority Territory, the NDP are at their traditional high water mark, not necessarily floundering.

The economy....nope....no one trusts the NDP to run a hot dog stand...

Seems people trust the Conservatives even though their record is pretty shitty Federally and not all the hot Provincially, Especially when compared to the the Provincial NDP governments that have existed across Canada.

How about.....!!!!

A referendum to abolish the senate!

Sounds good to me, I have no regards for the Senate. I kknow lots of Liberals and Conservatives want to keep it. Most public don't care one way or the other. No one would miss it. Regardless its not a vote getter, but it may motivate their base.

Sure doesn't look good for Senators. They are in trouble underemployed and overpaid. There is little value to Canadians, but they are self important and loyal party hacks.

Yeah that's a great idea....even better, the emoting classes whom the NDP derive their support probably don't even know a referendum cannot abolish the senate...but that's not the point....the point is to get the NDP on the front page!!!

Here's your ink, Jack

If the point is to get the NDP on the Front Page (I doubt that happened), but it does get the NDP press, then its successful.

I guess we (me and you) could talk about Bev Oda or Finleys hubby.

Edited by madmax

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I reckon Jack can hear the knives being unsheathed backstage.... Despite a solid five years of opportunity including a very vulnerable Liberal Party , the NDP is presently sliding backwards in the polls. He needs to maintain or bump his seat count at the next election, and in this environment that is really unlikely. He is personally between a rock and a hard place as leader.

To be fair, I don't know if anybody could do better than Layton, the problem is not so much any leader but the message and platform of the NDP nationally just does not appeal to many voters.

But speaking of Layton posturing.... the other day I was watching a replay of the Gold Medal hockey game from the 2010 Olympics, a sports network has been running highlights from the Games for the last few weeks.

Sure enough, they showed again the scenes from that Toronto bar where Layton has pushed himself right in front of a TV camera and is seen keeping an eye on it for cues on when to look patriotic. It was just as embarassingly transparent now as it was then. A clever Liberal media hack could make some mileage from that footage in an election campaign.

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While the Conservatives are in Majority Territory, the NDP are at their traditional high water mark, not necessarily floundering.

Traditional high water mark?

They had 19% in sept 2008~~~37% in may 1987

Today they are at 13%

Especially when compared to the the Provincial NDP governments that have existed across Canada.

One word: BOBRAE

Sounds good to me,

I believe I did say it would resonate with the emoting classes...

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Floundering in the polls and facing decimation if and when an election is called, The NDP brain trust struggle to come up with an issue that will galvanize their support, such that it is....

A referendum to abolish the senate!

Yeah that's a great idea....even better, the emoting classes whom the NDP derive their support probably don't even know a referendum cannot abolish the senate...but that's not the point....the point is to get the NDP on the front page!!!

It's a lame attempt to appeal to those on the extreme left, in trade unions, and the like who're always looking to wage class warfare; in other words, a hunt for cheap votes rather than an intelligent study of our parliamentary system and logical proposals for reform within that framework. It seems he hasn't even bothered to grasp the most basic facts; the Senate cannot be abolished without the consent of the Senate itself and the legislatures of all the provinces, as has already been pointed out, for example. Not yet noted is the fact that what Layton proposes is a plebicite, not a referendum; the latter requires a model to be voted on, which Jack hasn't yet even thought up.

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It's a lame attempt to appeal to those on the extreme left, in trade unions, and the like who're always looking to wage class warfare; in other words, a hunt for cheap votes rather than an intelligent study of our parliamentary system and logical proposals for reform within that framework. It seems he hasn't even bothered to grasp the most basic facts; the Senate cannot be abolished without the consent of the Senate itself and the legislatures of all the provinces, as has already been pointed out, for example. Not yet noted is the fact that what Layton proposes is a plebicite, not a referendum; the latter requires a model to be voted on, which Jack hasn't yet even thought up.

His party already appeals to the extreme left, his basic problem is that as leader he has failed to sell the message outside that group in any substantive way during his tenure. Now he is facing some migration of that vote. At worst, he has to keep what he traditionally has had. I reckon there is a new pragmatism in big l;abur as there is in many working class Canadians that may be hard on the NDP base. And if they slide backwards in seats, how can Layton stay on as leader? And that is why Layton won't force an election, for his own sake and because there is no pot of gold for the Party at the end of that rainbow, not now.

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Wow! At least somebody's noticed that it's 21 century outwhere.. while our constituonal system is right where it was couple of centuries back.

Good stuff! If I ever decide to take part in the quite pointless execrise aka "voting in Canada", Layton gets my vote.

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I the problem is not so much any leader but the message and platform of the NDP nationally just does not appeal to many voters.

The NDP platform and message appeals to a Majority of Canadians. That doesn't translate into votes or seats or support for the party. Ironically they are mutually exclusive and that , I believe has been the history of the CCF and NDP Federally since their creation.

Its good to have the whipping boy around. Its amazing that despite all the mud slinging after 80 years, they are still around and their % of vote remains roughly the same.

Some ironies in some of these articles.

IIRC the CCF policy to Abolish the Senate came from Western Canada and the CCF. The NDPs forebearers. Infact the CCF started in Alberta.

Whats funny is how the Lorne Gunter got it wrong when talking about Abolishing the Senate.

It is an indirect admission that the NDPs Old Cooperative Commonwealth Federation Wing holds any sway [/Quote]

This was CCF Policy directly from Western Canada, as the CCF was a Western Party and to this day remains essentially a Western Party.

9. B.N.A. ACT

THE AMENDMENT OF THE CANADIAN CONSTITUTION, WITHOUT INFRINGING UPON RACIAL OR RELIGIOUS MINORITY RIGHTS OR UPON LEGITIMATE PROVINCIAL CLAIMS TO AUTONOMY, SO AS TO GIVE THE DOMINION GOVERNMENT ADEQUATE POWERS TO DEAL EFFECTIVELY WITH URGENT ECONOMIC PROBLEMS WHICH ARE ESSENTIALLY NATIONAL IN SCOPE, THE ABOLITION OF THE CANADIAN SENATE.

We propose that the necessary amendments to the B.N.A. Act shall be obtained as speedily as required, safeguards being inserted to ensure that the existing rights of racial and religious minorities shall not be changed without their own consent. What is chiefiy needed today is the placing in the hands of the national government of more power to control national economic development. In a rapidly changing economic environment our political constitution must be reasonably flexible. The present division of powers between Dominion and Provinces reflects the conditions of a pioneer, mainly agricultural, community in 1867. Our constitution must be brought into line with the increasing industrialization of the country and the consequent centralization of economic and financial power - which has taken place in the last two generations. The principle laid down in the Quebec Resolution of the Fathers of Confederation should be applied to the conditions of 1933, that Òthere be a general government charged with matters of common interest to the whole country and local governments for each of the provinces charged with the control of local matters in their respective sections.

The Canadian Senate, which was originally created to protect provincial rights, but has failed even in this function, has developed into a bulwark of capitalist interests, as is illustrated by the large number of company directorships held by its aged members. In its peculiar composition of a fixed number of members appointed for life it is one of the most reactionary assemblies in the civilized world. It is a standing obstacle to all progressive legislation, and the only permanently satisfactory method of dealing with the constitutional difficulties it creates is to abolish it.

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Wow! At least somebody's noticed that it's 21 century outwhere.. while our constituonal system is right where it was couple of centuries back.

Good stuff! If I ever decide to take part in the quite pointless execrise aka "voting in Canada", Layton gets my vote.

Not this again. Whatever the state of our constitution, the fact is that it would highly inappropriate that the Federal government could just, at its own whim, alter that part of itself that is supposed to represent the provinces.

We've been through this before. Canada is a federation of provinces, and in any federation, including such places as Germany, Australia and the United States, there are sharp limits in certain key areas surrounding altering the constitutions, with the key idea of preventing unilateral action on the part of the federal governemnt. Do you have a problem with such constraints?

Want to alter the Senate, or eliminate, then bloody well do it the right way. Convince the provinces to come onboard. Since the Senate is, by and large, intended as the provinces' voice in the Federal Parliament, don't you think a reasonable constitutional structure would guarantee that the provinces have a say in losing that voice?

Edited by ToadBrother

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Traditional high water mark?

They had 19% in sept 2008~~~37% in may 1987

Today they are at 13%

I believe the NDP went into that Sept 2008 election at 12 to 13%. There are polls that have trended for 3 months at 19% and this is what is drawing fire upon them. Regardless the NDP range over 80 years is between 13 and 20%. That has not changed. There have been two blips, one in 1958 with the Dief the Chief Sweep and the NDP/CCF dropped to 8%. The 1993 Era where they dropped to 6%.

The NDP did not harvest any suggest 37% in the election of 1988. Infact, quite frankly, the Liberals campaigned on the back of the NDP to switch from 100+ years as freetraders (never implemented), to becoming the protectionists of Canadas interests. The Conservatives had just switch from 100years of Protectionism to FreeTraders. Mulroney changed positions during his 1st term of office. Again, Mulroneys view was NOT shared by a Majority of Canadians, but it was in tune with the NDP. As I said earlier, people may agree with the NDP , but they will take another alternative if that alternative says the same thing, whether they follow through or not.

One word: BOBRAE

One word: GRANT DEVINE

Regardless, the list of NDP balanced Budgets is superior to that of any other party and that includes the Bob Rae Era.

Bob Rae was an excellent speaker and a poor New Democrat. Failed NDP leaders join the Liberals.

Bob Rae is not the benchmark, he is the Cellar.

Considering the Federal State of Finances, Conservatives are not doing such a shit hot job. Lucky for Conservatives the poop doesn't stick to them.

Its good to have people fooled if you are in politics and have been poor fiscal managers since taking office. And if you consider the Martin Finance era superior, then these Conservatives have never been in the same league.

Provinces with New Democrat governments are more likely to have surplus budgets than governments of any other political party, a new report from the Government of Canada indicates .

At a time when the Harper Conservatives are projecting a record $56 billion deficit, the report shows that New Democrat governments have been, and continue to be strong financial managers, while delivering a better quality of life for ordinary people.

The numbers speak for themselves:

New Democrat governments produced budgets that were in surplus 51 percent of the time covered by the report.

Conservative governments ranked second, while Liberal governments fell far short; producing surplus budgets only 30 percent of the years they governed.

Included in the strong record of New Democrat fiscal management is the Romanow government who dug-out Saskatchewan from years of deep Conservative deficits, as well as eight balanced budgets in Manitoba under former-Premier Gary Doer.

The Fiscal Reference Tables are produced annually by the federal Department of Finance. The report for 2008-09 was released on Friday

I believe I did say it would resonate with the emoting classes...

I guess thats where i disagree with u.

I don't believe the general public are going to get all hot and bothered over the Senate, or Senate reform or anything dealing with Government moving the deck chairs on the Titanic Senate.

But I do like a few of these adds.... now that u got me looking and I think these "might" be effective.

http://www.ndp.ca/tv-ads

And yes there is a Senate one in there.

What has me curious is why the media and hacks get all up in arms when the lamest of useless pork institutions is threatened.

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What has me curious is why the media and hacks get all up in arms when the lamest of useless pork institutions is threatened.

Because, regardless of what you think of it, the Federal government cannot just unilaterally decide to alter or dispense with the Senate. It is a basic part of our Canadian parliament, and getting rid of it would require:

- The House of Commons to approve

- All the Provinces to approve

- The Governor General to approve

- And, last but not least, the Senate itself to approve

If any of the four of these requirements are not met, the Senate remains unchanged. I went through this several months ago with Harper's own lame legislative attempt to create Senator term limits.

For the NDP's idea to work, it would require all four of the above entities to agree to be bound by the results of a referendum. It would be complex and would take a good deal of negotiations, in no small part because this is a major constitutional change, far beyond even the Triple-E Senate of the Mulroney and Reform eras. If opening the constitution via Charlottetown and Meech Lake lead to the 1995 Quebec sovereignty referendum, can you imagine the can of worms that would be opened under the NDP proposal?

Beyond that, we are a federation of provinces, not a unitary state. Why shouldn't we have a bicameral legislature at the Federal level? We can debate how it's constituted, and I think there are improvements that could be made, my suggestion being that the Senate be reconstituted with equal numbers of representatives from each of the provinces and that vacancies to the Senate be filled by the Provincial governments based on their own constitutional arrangements. But eliminating the Senate, no, I don't like it, mainly because I think in a country like Canada having a bicameral legislature with an upper house with some power to block or slow the actions of the lower house is damned important. What the NDP are really suggesting is that the near tyranny of majority governments that we now experience basically have a key check removed.

In other words, abolishing the Senate is a moronic idea.

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Its good to have people fooled if you are in politics and have been poor fiscal managers since taking office. And if you consider the Martin Finance era superior, then these Conservatives have never been in the same league.

I don't. We all no Martin robbed peter to pay paul....the economy and the budget are in extraordinary shape, when compared to every other G20 nation. There handling of the recession, despite being forced to pull out the pork, was adept.

I don't believe the general public are going to get all hot and bothered over the Senate, or Senate reform or anything dealing with Government moving the deck chairs on the Titanic Senate.

Neither do I..but this is the totality of what the NDP braintrust can come up with.

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The NDP has the misfortune of having its best ideas stolen by parties who are equipped to govern. It started with the CCF in 1935, whose ideas were raided by King and Bennett both.

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I don't. We all no Martin robbed peter to pay paul....the economy and the budget are in extraordinary shape, when compared to every other G20 nation. There handling of the recession, despite being forced to pull out the pork, was adept.

Neither do I..but this is the totality of what the NDP braintrust can come up with.

What are you talking about? Stop acting like is this a new idea or the first time the NDP has asked for this.

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One word: GRANT DEVINE

Regardless, the list of NDP balanced Budgets is superior to that of any other party and that includes the Bob Rae Era.

Bob Rae was an excellent speaker and a poor New Democrat. Failed NDP leaders join the Liberals.

Bob Rae is not the benchmark, he is the Cellar.

Yeah, I actually agree that this is a stupid referendum proposal but when someone attempts to generally discredit the NDP's record with provincial economies by saying "One word: BOBRAE", it doesn't really suggest that he is being more thoughtful than the ostensible 'emoting classes'.

Edited by Evening Star

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Yeah, I actually agree that this is a stupid referendum proposal but when someone attempts to generally discredit the NDP's record with provincial economies by saying "One word: BOBRAE", it doesn't really suggest that he is being more thoughtful than the ostensible 'emoting classes'.

Madmax asserted that the NDP has a better record running balanced budgets provincially. Bob Rae was M.Dancer's refutation of that and it was fairly apt.

madmax has decided that Bob Rae doesn't count, but I'm having trouble understanding why. Sounds like he's cherry picking the sample.

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Madmax asserted that the NDP has a better record running balanced budgets provincially. Bob Rae was M.Dancer's refutation of that and it was fairly apt.

madmax has decided that Bob Rae doesn't count, but I'm having trouble understanding why. Sounds like he's cherry picking the sample.

Yes one man does not make a trend though. Fact is if you take the amount of budgets brought down by the NDP and find the percentage which was balance out of everyone the NDP beat the Cons and the Liberals. That is just a fact.

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Madmax asserted that the NDP has a better record running balanced budgets provincially. Bob Rae was M.Dancer's refutation of that and it was fairly apt.

madmax has decided that Bob Rae doesn't count, but I'm having trouble understanding why. Sounds like he's cherry picking the sample.

Because Bob Rae is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to NDP provincial governments. NDP governments in SK and MB have run balanced budgets many times since the 30s.

(xpost)

Edited by Evening Star

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Funny how the left was silent when the libs held the senate and now that the cons run it ,jack is screaming to abolish it.

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Funny how the left was silent when the libs held the senate and now that the cons run it ,jack is screaming to abolish it.

We have always wanted it abolished as far back as I can remember.

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