And here’s why:
“Let me talk to you about Jack Layton; my friend . . . my former friend,” said Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, a former NDP premier of British Columbia.
“Jack Layton is talking about a coalition. Why he had a coalition. He actually defeated the Paul Martin government with the Conservatives.”
The defeat of the Liberals killed the national child care program that was just beginning across the country, said Dosanjh, and it also killed the Kelowna accord for aboriginal people and Canada’s support for the Kyoto Accord on climate change.
“No, Jack, we don’t want your coalition,” said Dosanjh. “I want to tell Canadians if you want a progressive alternative, the only alternative is the Liberal Party of Canada that can govern for all Canadians.”
Dion also rejected the idea of an opposition coalition, but in more diplomatic language, suggesting he couldn’t work with the NDP.
“Mr. Layton has a plan that will be damaging for the economy and for our workers. He wants to increase the corporate tax, as you know, big time and bring it back to where it was some years ago.”
First off, let me remind the reader that it wasn’t the NDP that kept Canada’s smallest majority in power for so long…it was the Liberals, through their “strategy” of voting with the Conservatives on confidence votes or abstaining altogether. The statements above imply that given a choice of minority government (very likely, given the current polling numbers), the Liberals will choose the same path…propping up the Conservatives at the peril of this country. But let’s look closer at the issues Mr. Dossanjh brings up:
Kelowna accord: The act to implement the Kelowna Accord received Royal Assent on June 18th of this year (NDP, Liberal, Bloc for; Cons against). The reason it is not being implemented is because private member’s bills cannot compel the government of the day to spend money, and the Conservatives refuse to honour the Accord and the Act relating to it. The lack of funding for Kelowna falls squarely at the feet of the Conservative Party, who are refusing to honour the wishes of Canadians to move forward on Aboriginal affairs. And at the feet of any other Party that supports the Conservative rule by, say, not voting against them on confidence issues.
National Child Care: The Liberals have been promising a National Child Care program since 1993, in every one of their Red Books. They had clear majorities for more than enough years to implement a child care programme if they actually wanted it. I find it hard to swallow that they would follow through on this policy this time around. In fact, the only Child Care legislation passed recently was an NDP bill (Bill C-303), which passed with support of the Liberals, NDPs, and Bloc and against the will of the Cons. This bill only made it to the Report Stage before the election was called, so it will need to be re-introduced after the election.
Kyoto: Another issue that the Liberals could have work on for 12+ years from 1993 onwards, but did absolutely nothing about. There are two NDP-sponsored bills demanding that the government work towards it’s Kyoto obligations, one voted through with the support of the NDP, Liberals, and Bloc and against the vote of the Cons, and the other not subjected to a vote. Once again the NDP tabled legislation that majority Liberals should have created some time between 1993-2006. During which time Mr. Dion served as Environment minister, no less.
Let’s look at recent voting, shall we? The NDP voted against the government on 43 separate confidence votes. The Liberals either voted with the government or abstained from voting altogether, in order to avoid toppling the Conservative leadership. If it walks like a Conservative-Liberal coalition, talks like a Conservative-Liberal coalition, and votes like a Conservative-Liberal coalition, guess what it is?
/Briguy rant off